100-micron array polarimetry from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory - Instrumentation, techniques, and first results

S. R. Platt, R. H. Hildebrand, R. J. Pernic, J. A. Davidson, G. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The University of Chicago far-infrared array polarimeter, 'STOKES', is the first multiple-beam polarimeter for far-infrared astronomy. Observations are made from the NASA Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Two orthogonal components of linear polarization are detected simultaneously by corresponding pairs of bolometers in two 32-detector arrays. Novel observing and data-analysis techniques are used to overcome the inherent difficulties of array polarimetry. Results from the first observing flights with the new instrument are reported for the molecular clouds W3 and W51. The measurements show that the magnetic-field structure in both clouds is nonuniform on the scale of 0.5-1.5 pc. This is consistent with molecular line and Zeeman observations that indicate the presence of turbulent velocities and significant small-scale structure. Preliminary results from the second flight series have yielded approximately 40 new measurements in the Sgr A complex. These results indicate that modifications made since the first flights have significantly improved the performance of STOKES.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1210
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume103
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1991

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