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Extreme-scale alignments of quasar optical polarizations and Galactic dust contamination

Pelgrims, Vincent

Almost twenty years ago the optical polarization vectors from quasars were shown to be aligned over extreme-scales. That evidence was later confirmed and enhanced thanks to additional optical data obtained with the ESO instrument FORS2 mounted on the VLT, in Chile. These observations suggest either Galactic foreground contamination of the data or, more interestingly, a cosmological origin. Using 353-GHz polarization data from the Planck satellite, I recently showed that the main features of the extreme-scale alignments of the quasar optical polarization vectors are unaffected by the Galactic thermal dust. This confirms previous studies based on optical starlight polarization and discards the scenario of Galactic contamination. In this talk, I shall briefly review the extreme-scale quasar polarization alignments, discuss the main results submitted in A&A and motivate forthcoming projects at the frontier between Galactic and extragalactic astrop hysics.

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