PlanetPol

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The William Herschel Telescope building

PlanetPol was a ground-based, high sensitivity polarimeter based at the William Herschel Telescope[1] on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain that has now been decommissioned. It was the most sensitive astronomical visual polarimeter ever built in fractional polarisation, a mantle that since its decommissioning now belongs to HIPPI. Although the device could be used for a wide range of astronomy, its primary use was the detection of extrasolar planets.[1]

Results[edit]

PlanetPol did not discover any extrasolar planets, however it was used to provide upper limits to planetary albedos in the known 55 Cnc and τ Boo planetary systems[2]. Observations with the polarimeter in the Canary Islands, which are affected by dust from the Sahara, also identified airborne dust as a source of polarization within our atmosphere[3]. Additionally, PlanetPol provided measurements of the polarization of a few dozen nearby stars[4], which were later combined with southern hemisphere measurements from PlanetPol's successor, HIPPI[5], to provide information about the nature of those stars and the distribution of the interstellar medium[6].

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hough, J. H.; Lucas, P. W.; Bailey, J. A.; Tamura, M.; et al. (2006-09-01). "PlanetPol: A Very High Sensitivity Polarimeter". The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 118 (847): 1302–1318. Bibcode:2006PASP..118.1302H. doi:10.1086/507955. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  2. ^ Lucas, P. W.; Hough, J. H.; Bailey, J. A.; Tamura, M.; Hirst, E.; Harrison, D. (2009-02-11). "Planetpol polarimetry of the exoplanet systems 55 Cnc and τ Boo". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 393 (1): 229–244. arXiv:0807.2568. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14182.x. ISSN 0035-8711.
  3. ^ Bailey, Jeremy; Ulanowski, Z.; Lucas, P. W.; Hough, J. H.; Hirst, E.; Tamura, M. (May 2008). "The effect of airborne dust on astronomical polarization measurements". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 386 (2): 1016–1022. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13088.x. ISSN 0035-8711.
  4. ^ Bailey, Jeremy; Lucas, P. W.; Hough, J. H. (April 2010). "The linear polarization of nearby bright stars measured at the parts per million level". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 405 (4): no. arXiv:1003.1753. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16634.x. ISSN 0035-8711.
  5. ^ Bailey, Jeremy; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Cotton, Daniel V.; Bott, Kimberly; Hough, J. H.; Lucas, P. W. (2015-04-08). "A high-sensitivity polarimeter using a ferro-electric liquid crystal modulator". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 449 (3): 3064–3073. arXiv:1503.02236. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv519. ISSN 1365-2966.
  6. ^ Cotton, Daniel V.; Bailey, Jeremy; Kedziora-Chudczer, Lucyna; Bott, Kimberly; Lucas, P. W.; Hough, J. H.; Marshall, Jonathan P. (2015-11-19). "The linear polarization of Southern bright stars measured at the parts-per-million level". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 455 (2): 1607–1628. arXiv:1509.07221. doi:10.1093/mnras/stv2185. ISSN 0035-8711.