Revealing the dust grain polarization properties as a function of extinction and distance towards NGC 1893

N. Bijas, Chakali Eswaraiah, Jia-Wei Wang, Jessy Jose, Wen-Ping Chen, Di Li, Shih-Ping Lai, D. K. Ojha

Submitted on 7 July 2022


Dust polarization observations at optical wavelengths help to understand the dust grain properties and trace the plane-of-the-sky component of the magnetic field. In this study, we make use of the I-band polarization data acquired from AIMPOL along with the distances (d) and extinction (AV) data to study the variation of polarization fraction (P) as a function of AV and d towards the star-forming region, NGC 1893. We employ a broken power-law fit and Bayesian analysis on extinction (AV) versus polarization efficiency (P/AV) and distance (d) versus rate of polarization (P/d). We find that P/AV shows a break at an extinction of 0.9 mag, whereas P/d exhibits a break at a distance of 1.5 kpc. Based on these, we categorize the dust towards NGC 1893 into two populations: (i) foreground dust confined to AV < 1 mag and distance up to 2 kpc and (ii) Perseus spiral arm dust towards NGC 1893 characterized with AV > 1 mag and distance beyond 2 kpc. Foreground dust exhibits higher polarization efficiency but a lower polarization rate, whereas Perseus dust shows a lower polarization efficiency but a slightly higher polarization rate. Hence, we suggest that while polarization efficiency reveals the dust grain alignment, the rate of polarization infers about the distribution of dust grains towards NGC 1893. Further, we also shed a light on the spatial variation of intrinsic polarization and magnetic field orientation, and other parameters within the intra-cluster medium of NGC 1893.


Comment: 19 pages, 17 figures, and 3 tables; Accepted for its publication in the MNRAS

Subject: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies