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Astron. Astrophys. 334, 969-975 (1998)

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5. Conclusions

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 disk.
  • 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.
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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: June 2, 1998