Young stars and dust in AFGL 437: Hubble space telescope nicmos polarimetric imaging of an outflow source

Casey A. Meakin, Dean C. Hines, Roger I. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present near-infrared broadband and polarimetric images of the compact star-forming cluster AFGL 437 obtained with the NICMOS instrument on board HST. Our high-resolution images reveal a well-collimated bipolar reflection nebulosity in the cluster and allow us to identify WK 34 as the illuminating source. The scattered light in the bipolar nebulosity centered on this source is very highly polarized (up to 79%). Such high levels of polarization imply a distribution of dust grains lacking large grains, contrary to the usual dust models of dark clouds. We discuss the geometry of the dust distribution giving rise to the bipolar reflection nebulosity and make mass estimates for the underlying scattering material. We find that the most likely inclination of the bipolar nebulosity, the south lobe inclined toward Earth, is consistent with the inclination of the large-scale CO molecular outflow associated with the cluster, strengthening the identification of WK 34 as the source powering it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1154
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume634
Issue number2 I
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Keywords

  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • Infrared: ISM
  • Stars: formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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