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Proceedings Paper

Resolving polarized stellar features thanks to polarimetric interferometry
Author(s): Karine Rousselet-Perraut; Olivier Chesneau; Farrokh Vakili; Denis Mourard; Sebastien Janel; Laurent Lavaud; Axel Crocherie
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Paper Abstract

Polarimetry is a powerful means for detecting and constraining various physical phenomena, such as scattering processes or magnetic fields, occuring in a large panel of stellar objects: extended atmospheres of hot stars, CP stars, Young Stellar Objects, Active Galaxy Nuclei, ... However, the lack of angular resolution is generally a strong handicap to drastically constrain the physical parameters and the geometry of the polarizing phenomena because of the cancelling of the polarized signal. In fact, even if stellar features are strongly polarized, the (spectro-)polarimetric signal integrated over the stellar surface rarely exceeds few percents. Coupling polarimetric and interferometric devices allows to resolve these local polarized structures and thus to constrain complex patchy stellar surfaces and/or environments such as disk topology in T Tauri stars, hot stars radiative winds or oscillations in Be star envelopes. In this article, we explain how interfero-polarimetric observables, basically the contrast and the position of the interference fringe patterns versus polarization (and even versus wavelength) are powerful to address the above scientific drivers and we emphasize on the key point of instrumental and data calibrations: since interferometric measurements are differential ones between 2 or more beams, this strongly relaxes the calibration requirements for the fringe phase observable. Prospects induced by the operation of the optical aperture synthesis arrays are also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4843, Polarimetry in Astronomy, (14 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.458858
Show Author Affiliations
Karine Rousselet-Perraut, Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
Olivier Chesneau, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Astronomie (Germany)
Farrokh Vakili, Univ. de Nice Sophia Antipolis (France)
Denis Mourard, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (France)
Sebastien Janel, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (France)
Laurent Lavaud, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (France)
Axel Crocherie, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4843:
Polarimetry in Astronomy
Silvano Fineschi, Editor(s)

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