Near-infrared polarimetry and mapping of ARP 299 (IC 694/NGC 3690)

Terry Jay Jones, Robert D. Gehrz, J. Smith

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6 Scopus citations


We present optical and infrared polarimetry and H and K maps of the interacting system Arp 299 (Mrk 171, IC 694/NGC 3690). Source C has an intrinsic position angle that lies along the ridge of CO emission to the north of source B but shows a peculiar wavelength dependence more suggestive of active galactic nuclei than of interstellar polarization. Perhaps source C is the nucleus of a third galaxy, or a nonthermal energy source not associated with a galactic nucleus. The nucleus of IC 694 (source A, the eastern galaxy) is associated with a gaseous disk that shows interstellar polarization with a position angle aligned with its long axis. This disk overlaps the nucleus of NGC 3690 (source B, the western galaxy ). The infrared polarization of IC 694 is weak for the observed extinction, suggesting the magnetic field in this galaxy has been disrupted. The infrared polarization of NGC 3690 has a NS position angle and is near normal for the observed extinction, suggesting the magnetic field in this galaxy is relatively undisturbed. We suggest by analogy with M82 and NGC 6240, that the nucleus of IC 694, which contains a large quantity of molecular gas and shows considerable activity, has developed a polar outflow that has rotated the position angle of the magnetic field by 90° with respect to the disk, causing a reduction in the magnitude of the net polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1475
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1990
Externally publishedYes


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