A near-infrared polarized bipolar cone in the Circinus galaxy
We present near–infrared broad–band polarization images of the nuclear regions of the Circinus galaxy in the J, H and K bands. For the first time the south–eastern reflection cone is detected in polarized light, which is obscured at optical wavelengths behind the galactic disk. This biconical structure is clearly observed in J and H band polarized flux whilst in the K band a more compact structure is detected. Total flux J–K and H–K colour maps reveal a complex colour gradient toward the south–east direction (where the Circinus galactic disk is nearer to us).We find enhanced extinction in an arc shaped structure, at about 200pc from the nucleus, probably part of the starformation ring.