Submillimetre dust polarization and opacity in the HD163296 protoplanetary ring system

W. R.F. Dent, C. Pinte, P. C. Cortes, F. Ménard, A. Hales, E. Fomalont, I. de Gregorio-Monsalvo

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We present ALMA images of the sub-mm continuum polarization and spectral index of the protoplanetary ringed disc HD163296. The polarization fraction at 870 μm is measured to be ~0.9 per cent in the central core and generally increases with radius along the disc major axis. It peaks in the gaps between the dust rings, and the largest value (~4 per cent) is found between rings 1 and 2. The polarization vectors are aligned with the disc minor axis in the central core, but become more azimuthal in the gaps, twisting by up to ±9° in the gap between rings 1 and 2. These general characteristics are consistent with a model of self-scattered radiation in the ringed structure, without requiring an additional dust alignment mechanism. The 870/1300 μm dust spectral index exhibits minima in the centre and the inner rings, suggesting these regions have high optical depths. However, further refinement of the dust or the disc model at higher resolution is needed to reproduce simultaneously the observed degree of polarization and the low spectral index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L29-L33
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Physical data and processes: polarization
  • Submillimetre: planetary systems

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