An inexpensive liquid crystal spectropolarimeter for the dominion astrophysical observatory plaskett telescope

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1086/665582
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
ISSN0004-6280
Volume124
Issue914
Pages329342; # of pages: 14
AbstractA new, inexpensive polarimetric unit has been constructed for the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) 1.8 m Plaskett telescope. It is implemented as a plug-in module for the telescope's existing Cassegrain spectrograph, and it enables medium-resolution (R≈10,000) circular spectropolarimetry of point sources. A dual-beam design, together with fast switching of the wave plate at rates up to 100 Hz and synchronized with charge shuffling on the CCD, is used to significantly reduce instrumental effects and achieve high-precision spectropolarimetric measurements for a very low cost. The instrument is optimized to work in the wavelength range of 4700-5300 Å to simultaneously detect polarization signals in the Hβ line, as well as nearby metallic lines. In this article we describe the technical details of the instrument, our observing strategy, and data reduction techniques, and we present tests of its scientific performance. © 2012. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA-IHA)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269299
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Record identifier71758af4-d58a-4d21-a27f-dc0687067c3d
Record created2013-12-12
Record modified2016-05-09
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