AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 13. Planetary Nebulae
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[13.03] Near-IR Imaging Polarimetry of GL 618

Q. T. Sykes, S. R. Trammell (UNC Charlotte), K. Wood (CfA)

We present near­IR imaging polarimetry of the young planetary nebula GL 618. GL 618 is a compact, bipolar nebula that is undergoing the transition from AGB star to planetary nebula. Studying a PN in this stage of evolution is important because mass loss in the early phases of PN formation impacts the further development of the nebula.

The dust distribution in GL 618 provides a snapshot of the early mass loss in this object. However, the line spectrum of GL 618 is dominated by shock­excited emission from collimated outflows in the lobes and does not trace the overall dust distribution in this object. Polarimetry provides a way to isolate the scattered light produced in the bipolar lobes of GL 618 and thus study the dust distribution. We have obtained imaging polarimetry of GL 618 using the ARC 3.5m telescope and GRIM II polarimeter. Using the polarization data and a Monte­Carlo radiative transfer code we have modeled the scattered light images of GL 618. The combination of imaging, polarimetry, and numerical simulations has allowed us to place tight constraints on the distribution of mass and the dust scattering properties in GL 618.

This work was supported by a grant to SRT from Research Corp.

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