Astron. Astrophys. 334, 969-975 (1998)
We performed for the first time high resolution binary polarimetry
of Z CMa using speckle flux ratios in the K band.
- The total K band polarization of the Z CMa system has the same
polarization as in the whole optical range.
- The polarization of the primary - a Herbig Ae/Be star hidden from
view in the optical range - dominates the total polarization by higly
polarized light scattered at the dusty walls of the blueshifted
outflow cavity. The outflow is connected with the Herbig Ae/Be star.
- For the secondary - the presumed FU Orionis object - we found
large "disk polarization" due to a small opening angle of the thick
- Distance and position angle of the binary system are in fairly
good agreement with the results from other authors.
- High-angular resolution polarimetry can be used as a tool get
insight on the binary formation mechanism. In the case of Z CMa, a
common formation history of both components seems to be likely.
© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998
Online publication: June 2, 1998