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Astron. Astrophys. 325, L29-L31 (1997)

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Letter to the Editor

Optical polarization properties of GRO J1655-40

F. Scaltriti * 1, G. Bodo 1, G. Ghisellini 2, M. Gliozzi 3 and E. Trussoni 1

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, Strada dell'Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
2 Osservatorio Astronomico di Milano, Sezione di Merate, Via Bianchi 46, I-22055 Merate (MI), Italy
3 Dipartimento di Fisica Generale dell'Università, Via P. Giuria 1, I-10125 Torino, Italy

Received 12 June 1997 / Accepted 1 July 1997

Abstract

The superluminal source GRO J1655-40 (Nova Scorpii) has been observed in July 1996, when in active phase at X-ray energies, with the multichannel photopolarimeter (UBVRI) of the Torino Observatory, using the 2.15-m telescope of Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito (Argentina). A significant amount of intrinsic linear polarization ([FORMULA] %) has been detected in the VRI bands, with the polarization direction parallel to the accretion disk plane. The possible origin of the polarized light and its implications on the structure of the system are shortly discussed.

Key words Polarization - stars: individual: GRO J1655-40 - stars: novae, cataclismic variables

* Visiting Astronomer, Complejo Astronomico El Leoncito operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas de la Republica Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Cordoba and San Juan.

Send offprint requests to: F. Scaltriti

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: April 28, 1998

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