Document Type



Astronomy (Pomona)

Publication Date



ISM: chamacleon clouds; dust, extinction; atoms; molecules -- polarization -- infrared: ISM: continuum


We present optical polarimetry and high resolution spectroscopy of a sample of stars toward the Chamaeleon I dark cloud. We use our polarimetry which includes 33 stars to study the wavelength dependence of the degree and position angle of polarization.

From our data we found, by interpretation of the various correlations between the polarimetry, photometry and IRAS fluxes, the following:
the probable presence of shocked molecular gas; a warm molecular CH component; small dust grains at the edges of the cloud, and larger grains in the central parts, which are causing the polarization.

Our results provide a consistent picture of the gas and dust content in the Cha I region, where larger grains, responsible of the starlight polarization, exist in the center of the cloud, surrounded by envelopes of warmer molecular and atomic material.

Rights Information

© 1997 The European Southern Observatory (ESO)