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Astron. Astrophys. 318, 37-39 (1997)

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Research Note

Interstellar polarization at high galactic latitudes from distant stars

II. Evidence for depolarization starting at [FORMULA]

A. Berdyugin 1 and P. Teerikorpi 2

1 Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, 334413 Nauchny, Crimea, Ukraine
2 Tuorla Observatory, University of Turku, FIN-21500 Piikkiö, Finland

Received 9 May 1996 / Accepted 22 May 1996


We have measured linear polarization for 20 distant high latitude A and F stars, as a first step to extend our previous study (Berdyugin et al. 1995: Paper I) of the North Galactic polar cap to distances larger than 600 pc. The results give tentative evidence for depolarization starting to be seen around [FORMULA] pc, possibly indicating that there is a significant change in the magnetic field direction. Depolarization requires that there is still light-polarizing dust in the Z range 500-1000 pc and the lower limit to extinction inferred in Paper I ([FORMULA] mag) must be increased by a yet undetermined amount.

Key words: polarization – dust, extinction – solar neighbourhood

Send offprint requests to: P. Teerikorpi

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 8, 1998