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Proceedings Paper

Astrophysical polarimetry: science, techniques, and methodology
Author(s): C. Packham
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Paper Abstract

Polarimetry has been used by astronomers to explore diverse objects such as stars in formation, primordial discs around stars that could provide the birthplace of planets, magnetic fields in stars and interactions of black holes with their environments and host galaxies. In recent years, telescopes with primary mirrors of 8-10m have been commissioned, and a new era of airborne astronomy is imminent, enabling more detailed observations of fainter and more distant objects as well as offering an increasing diversity of wavelength coverage and techniques. Significant technological progress in polarizing components and methodologies has also been realized in recent years. Together these developments afford astrophysical polarimetry with considerable advances across all wavelengths. I review the astronomical drivers for such progress and the instrumentation/methodologies at optical, mid-IR and mm wavelengths required to realize such progress.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 March 2008
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6972, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VIII, 69720I (31 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.779765
Show Author Affiliations
C. Packham, Univ. of Florida (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6972:
Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VIII
David B. Chenault; Dennis H. Goldstein, Editor(s)

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