Infrared polarimetry of the reflection nebula near L 1551 IRS 5
The K-band polarization has been measured in the region extending 30 arcsec to the SW of L 1551 IRS 5. The degree of polarization is exceptionally high, reaching ≡67 per cent. The large polarizations and the azimuthal pattern of the position angles are attributed to scattering of infrared radiation from IRS 5 by dust grains. The infrared brightness distribution resembles that of the optical nebulosity. The authors propose that infrared scattering occurs at the 'walls' of a cavity formed by the interaction of stellar winds with the ambient cloud.