Polarimetry of DG tau at 350μm

M. Krejny*, T. G. Matthews, G. Novak, J. Cho, H. Li, H. Shinnaga, J. E. Vaillancourt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We present the first 350μm polarization measurement for the disk of the T Tauri star (TTS) DG Tau. The data were obtained using the SHARP polarimeter at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. We measured normalized Stokes parameters q= -0.0086 0.0060 and u = -0.0012 0.0061, which gives a 2σ upper limit for the percent polarization of 1.7%. We obtain information about the polarization spectrum by comparing our 350μm measurement with an 850μm polarization detection previously published for this source. Comparing the two measurements in Stokes space (not in percent polarization) shows that the two data points are not consistent, i.e., either the degree of polarization or the angle of polarization (or both) must change significantly as one moves from 850μm to 350μm. This conclusion concerning the polarization spectrum disagrees with the predictions of a recent model for TTS disk polarization. We show that this discrepancy can be explained by optical depth effects. Specifically, we demonstrate that if one were to add more mass to the model disk, one would expect to obtain a model polarization spectrum in which the polarization degree falls sharply with increasing frequency, consistent with the observations at the two wavelengths. We suggest that multiwavelength polarimetry of TTS disk emission may provide a promising method for probing the opacity of TTS disks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-722
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Planetary systems: Protoplanetary disks
  • Polarization
  • Stars: Individual (DG Tau)
  • Submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Polarimetry of DG tau at 350μm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this