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Astron. Astrophys. 346, 955-960 (1999)

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Research Note

Interstellar dust and magnetic field at the boundaries of the Local Bubble

Analysis of polarimetric data in the light of Hipparcos parallaxes * **

J.L. Leroy

Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France

Received 14 January 1999 / Accepted 12 April 1999


Hipparcos stellar parallaxes have been used to reanalyse existing interstellar polarization data. The main results are:

  • The nearest interstellar dust patches are at about 70 pc in some directions, in others beyond 150 pc. Thus the region devoid of dust, commonly identified with the Local Hot Bubble , is irregular in shape.

  • The interstellar magnetic field revealed by the nearest polarized stars is certainly not a smooth, uniform field along the Galactic equator. The structure seen is more complex and can no longer be dismissed as an artefact due to inaccurate stellar distances.

Key words: polarization – ISM: clouds – ISM: magnetic fields – Galaxy: solar neighbourhood

* based on observations obtained with the telescope Bernard Lyot of Pic du Midi Observatory
** Tables of the polarimetric cataloque are only available in electronic form at the CDS (Strasbourg) via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( (ftp://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/pub/cat/J/A+A/346/955 ) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/346/955

Send offprint requests to: J.L. Leroy

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 17, 1999