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February 12th, 2016: When Photons Keep Secrets: New Observables for High Contrast Imaging Exoplanet Science

Posted on Feb 9, 2016 in Seminars

Rebecca Jensen-Clem (Caltech)

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 detected polarized emission are common, no exoplanet or substellar companion has yet been detected in polarized light. With the advent of high contrast imaging spectro-polarimeters such as GPI and SPHERE, such a detection may now be possible with careful treatment of instrumental polarization. I will discuss the role of polarimetry in brown dwarf and exoplanet science, test observations with GPI, as well as current and future polarimetric observing campaigns.