The far-infrared polarization of the orion nebula

D. P. Gonatas*, G. A. Engargiola, R. H. Hildebrand, S. R. Platt, X. D. Wu, J. A. Davidson, G. Novak, D. K. Aitken, C. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


We have measured polarization of the 100 μm thermal emission from 10 points in the Orion nebula. At one of the positions the degree, 5.7%, is the largest far-infrared polarization yet discovered. Except at a position in the barlike structure to the south, the position angles of the polarization vectors are well-ordered, suggesting that a uniform magnetic field threads the cloud. We estimate the magnetic field strength to be between 0.7 and 4 mG. We discuss the relationship of the degrees of polarization to the physical conditions in the cloud.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1990


  • Interstellar: magnetic fields
  • Nebulae: Orion nebula
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The far-infrared polarization of the orion nebula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this