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Proceedings Paper

Design of a laboratory simulator to test exoplanet imaging polarimetry
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Paper Abstract

Research on extrasolar planets is one of the most rapidly advancing fields of astrophysics. In just over a decade since the discovery of the first extra-solar planet orbiting around 51 Pegasi, 289 extrasolar planets have been discovered. This breakthrough is the result of the development of a wide range of new observational techniques and facilities for the detection and characterisation of extrasolar planets. In Utrecht we are building the Extreme Polarimeter (ExPo) to image extra-solar planets and circumstellar environments using polarimetry at contrast ratio of 10-9. To test and calibrate ExPo, we have built a laboratory-based simulator that mimics a star with a Jupiter-like exoplanet as seen by the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope. The star and planet are simulated using two single-mode fibres in close proximity that are fed with a broadband arc lamp with a contrast ratio down to 10-9. The planet is partially linearly polarized. The telescope is simulated with two lenses, and seeing can be included with a rotating glass plate covered with hairspray. In this paper we present the scientific requirements and the simulator design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 2008
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7014, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II, 70147B (9 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789275
Show Author Affiliations
S. V. Jeffers, Sterrenkundig Instituut, Univ. Utrecht (Netherlands)
N. Miesen, Sterrenkundig Instituut, Univ. Utrecht (Netherlands)
M. Rodenhuis, Sterrenkundig Instituut, Univ. Utrecht (Netherlands)
C. U. Keller, Sterrenkundig Instituut, Univ. Utrecht (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7014:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II
Ian S. McLean; Mark M. Casali, Editor(s)

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