We present polarimetric imaging of the protoplanetary nebula RAFGL 2688 obtained at 4.5 µm with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). We have deconvolved the images to remove the signature of the point spread function of the ISO telescope, to the extent possible. The deconvolved 4.5 µm image and polarimetric map reveal a bright point source with faint, surrounding reflection nebulosity. The reflection nebula is brightest to the north-northeast, in agreement with previous ground- and space-based infrared imaging. Comparison with previous near-infrared polarimetric imaging suggests that the polarization of starlight induced by the dust grains in RAFGL 2688 is more or less independent of wavelength between 2 µm and 4.5 µm. This, in turn, indicates that scattering dominates over thermal emission at wavelengths as long as ~5 µm, and that the dust grains have characteristic radii < 1 µm.
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Astron.J. 123 (2002) 2658-2665
RIT – Main Campus