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Astron. Astrophys. 347, 590-593 (1999)

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Polarimetric variability of the Herbig Be star HD 100546

D. Clarke 1, R.A. Smith 1 and R.V. Yudin 2

1 University Observatory, Acre Road, Glasgow, G20 0TL, Scotland, UK (d.clarke@astro.gla.ac.uk)
2 Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences at Pulkovo, 196140 Saint-Petersburg, Russia (ruslan@pulkovo.spb.su)

Received 9 December 1998 / Accepted 3 May 1999


High accuracy polarimetric observations made on three nights are reported for the Herbig Be star HD 100546 revealing changes both in the linear and circular components. Continuous monitoring over windows [FORMULA] 2 hrs reveal no variation or secular change in [FORMULA] at levels [FORMULA] but night-to-night changes [FORMULA] are clearly recorded. The [FORMULA] ratio indicates an interstellar polarization component. Accounting for this by consideration of field stars does not, however, provide an intrinsic value for this ratio that is explained by electron scattering and it is concluded that the basic polarigenic mechanism is scattering by dust within the circumstellar environment.

Key words: polarization – stars: circumstellar matter – stars: individual: HD 100546 – stars: pre-main sequence

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 30, 1999