Polarimetric Imaging of the Ultraviolet Diffuse Light in the Large Magellanic Cloud

K.H. Nordsieck, A. Cole, S.J. Gibson, W. Harris
Space Astronomy Laboratory/U. Wisconsin

Late Poster Paper: 1996 January AAS meeting in San Antonio

On Nov 20, 1995, a suborbital rocket payload launched from Woomera, Australia obtained the first ultraviolet polarimetry of diffuse light in a galaxy. The Wide-Field Imaging Survey Polarimeter ("WISP") is a fast off-axis Schmidt telescope with ultraviolet polarimetric optics and a UV-sensitized CCD. A total of four 80-second images were obtained of a 2x5 degree field on the west side of the LMC, using a continuum filter centered at 2150 Å and 1 arcminute pixels. Kiloparsec-scale structure in the diffuse light is clearly seen in the quick-look data. In this poster we will compare the WISP data with visible and infrared images of the LMC, with the goal of delineating the geometric distribution of the diffuse dust in the LMC. WISP is supported by NASA contract NAG5-647 with the University of Wisconsin.