Detecting polarized light from self-luminous exoplanets has the potential to provide key information about rotation, surface gravity, cloud grain size, and cloud coverage. While field brown dwarfs with polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With careful treatment of instrumental polarization, such a detection is now within the capabilities of modern high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE. Here, we present preliminary results from our 2015B GPI pilot program to search for polarized emission from known exoplanets and brown dwarf companions. We describe the effects of speckle noise and instrumental polarization on our analysis methods and discuss our results in the context of substellar cloud models and photometric variability.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #227
- Pub Date:
- January 2016