24,631 research outputs found

    Stellar Polarimetry: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

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    On the final day of the Stellar Polarimetry conference, participants split up into three "breakout sessions" to discuss the future of the field in the areas of instrumentation, upcoming opportunities, and community priorities. This contribution compiles the major recommendations arising from each breakout session. We hope that the polarimetric community will find these ideas useful as we consider how to maintain the vitality of polarimetry in the coming years.Comment: 7 pages, published in proceedings of "Stellar Polarimetry: From Birth to Death" (Madison, WI, June 2011

    Detailed optical and near-infrared polarimetry, spectroscopy and broadband photometry of the afterglow of GRB 091018: Polarisation evolution

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    [Abridged] A number of phenomena have been observed in GRB afterglows that defy explanation by simple versions of the standard fireball model, leading to a variety of new models. Polarimetry can be a major independent diagnostic of afterglow physics, probing the magnetic field properties and internal structure of the GRB jets. In this paper we present the first high quality multi-night polarimetric light curve of a Swift GRB afterglow, aimed at providing a well calibrated dataset of a typical afterglow to serve as a benchmark system for modelling afterglow polarisation behaviour. In particular, our dataset of the afterglow of GRB 091018 (at redshift z=0.971) comprises optical linear polarimetry (R band, 0.13 - 2.3 days after burst); circular polarimetry (R band) and near-infrared linear polarimetry (Ks band). We add to that high quality optical and near-infrared broadband light curves and spectral energy distributions as well as afterglow spectroscopy. The linear polarisation varies between 0 and 3%, with both long and short time scale variability visible. We find an achromatic break in the afterglow light curve, which corresponds to features in the polarimetric curve. We find that the data can be reproduced by jet break models only if an additional polarised component of unknown nature is present in the polarimetric curve. We probe the ordered magnetic field component in the afterglow through our deep circular polarimetry, finding P_circ < 0.15% (2 sigma), the deepest limit yet for a GRB afterglow, suggesting ordered fields are weak, if at all present. Our simultaneous R and Ks band polarimetry shows that dust induced polarisation in the host galaxy is likely negligible.Comment: 20 pages, 14 figures, 3 tables. Accepted for publication in MNRAS. Some figures are reduced in quality to comply with arXiv size requirement

    Polarized QPOs from the INTEGRAL polar IGRJ14536-5522 (=Swift J1453.4-5524)

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    We report optical spectroscopy and high speed photometry and polarimetry of the INTEGRAL source IGRJ14536-5522 (=Swift J1453.4-5524). The photometry, polarimetry and spectroscopy are modulated on an orbital period of 3.1564(1) hours. Orbital circularly polarized modulations are seen from 0 to -18 per cent, unambiguously identifying IGRJ14536-5522 as a polar. Some of the high speed photometric data show modulations that are consistent with quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) on the order of 5-6 minutes. Furthermore, for the first time, we detect the (5-6) minute QPOs in the circular polarimetry. We discuss the possible origins of these QPOs. We also include details of HIPPO, a new high-speed photo-polarimeter used for some of our observations.Comment: Accepted for publication by MNRAS. The paper contains 7 figures and 1 tabl

    Data Reduction Techniques for High Contrast Imaging Polarimetry. Applications to ExPo

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    Imaging polarimetry is a powerful tool for detecting and characterizing exoplanets and circumstellar environments. Polarimetry allows a separation of the light coming from an unpolarized source such as a star and the polarized source such as a planet or a protoplanetary disk. Future facilities like SPHERE at the VLT or EPICS at the E-ELT will incorporate imaging polarimetry to detect exoplanets. The Extreme Polarimeter (ExPo) is a dual-beam imaging polarimeter that currently can reach contrast ratios of 10^5, enough to characterize circumstellar environments. We present the data reduction steps for a dual-beam imaging polarimeter that can reach contrast ratios of 10^5. The data obtained with ExPo at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) are analyzed. Instrumental artifacts and noise sources are discussed for an unpolarized star and for a protoplanetary disk (AB Aurigae). The combination of fast modulation and dual-beam techniques allow us to minimize instrumental artifacts. A proper data processing and alignment of the images is fundamental when dealing with large contrasts. Imaging polarimetry proves to be a powerful method to resolve circumstellar environments even without a coronagraph mask or an Adaptive Optics system.Comment: 9 pages, 12 Figures, Accepted for publication in A&

    X-Ray Polarimetry: Historical Remarks and Other Considerations

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    We briefly discuss the history of X-ray polarimetry for astronomical applications including a guide to the appropriate statistics. We also provide an introduction to some of the new techniques discussed in more detail elsewhere in these proceedings. We conclude our discussion with our concerns over adequate ground calibration, especially with respect to unpolarized beams, and at the system level.Comment: 8 pages, 1 figure presented at "The Coming of Age if X-ray Polarimetry", Rome, Italy April 27, 200
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