In a phase A study supported by ESO, we are currently planning a dedicated VLT instrument for the direct detection of extra-solar planets: CHEOPS (CHaracterizing Exoplanets by Opto-infrared Polarization and Spectroscopy). The envisaged instrument consists of an extreme adaptive optics system with a coronagraph, and two science channels for differential imaging, which are(1) a spectroscopic integral field unit in the J- and H-band optimized for the detection of methane bands, and (2) a polarimetric I-band imager based on the ZIMPOL technique for the search of reflected (polarized) light. We highlight here some aspects of the polarimetric part of this project.
Astronomical Polarimetry: Current Status and Future Directions
- Pub Date:
- December 2005