Polarimetry of planetary systems.

0044 English OPEN
McLean, William George King;
  • Subject: QB
    arxiv: Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics | Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics

Light reflected by planetary atmospheres and/or surfaces is polarised, and the degree and direction of polarisation can yield information that cannot always be gleaned from flux measurements alone. Polarimetric studies of solar system planets can reveal more details abo... View more
  • References (161)
    161 references, page 1 of 17

    Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 History and development of polarimetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.2 Description of planetary radiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 1.2.1 Polarisation of light reflected by smaller bodies . . . . . . . . 8 1.3 Polarimetry of the solar system (overview) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 1.3.1 The Moon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 1.3.2 Moons of Jupiter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 1.3.3 Moons of Saturn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 1.3.4 Asteroids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 1.3.5 Comets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 1.3.6 Trans-Neptunian Objects and Centaurs . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 1.4 Polarimetry of extrasolar planets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 1.4.1 Studies to date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

    Chapter 3 Instrumentation and data reduction 47 3.1 Polarimetric optics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 3.1.1 Polarisers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 3.1.2 Retarders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 3.2 Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 3.2.1 FORS2@VLT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 3.2.2 ISIS@WHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 3.2.3 FoReRo2@Rozhen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.2.4 ToPol@Calern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.3 Data reduction methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 3.3.1 CCDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 3.3.2 Bias and flat fielding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 3.3.3 Spectropolarimetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

    Chapter 4 The terrestrial planets 78 4.1 Mercury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 4.2 Venus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 4.3 Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 4.3.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 4.3.2 Observations and results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 4.3.3 Models of Earth-like exoplanets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 4.3.4 Discussion and summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 4.4 Mars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 4.4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 4.4.2 Observations and results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 4.4.3 Discussion and summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

    Chapter 5 Jupiter 117 5.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 5.2 Observations and results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 5.2.1 Observing log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 5.2.2 Imaging polarimetry with ToPol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123 5.3 Theoretical modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 5.3.1 Modelling of the observations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140 5.3.2 Models of signals from exoplanets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 5.4 Discussion and summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152

    Chapter 6 Saturn, its rings, and Titan 154 6.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 6.2 Observations and results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 6.2.1 ISIS Spectropolarimetry of Saturn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

    Chapter 7 Uranus and Neptune 182 7.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 7.2 Observations and results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184 7.2.1 Uranus: ISIS and FoReRo2 spectropolarimetry . . . . . . . . 184 7.2.2 Uranus: FoReRo2 and ToPol imaging polarimetry . . . . . . 188 7.2.3 Neptune: ISIS spectropolarimetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190 7.2.4 Neptune: FoReRo2 and ToPol imaging polarimetry . . . . . . 190 7.3 Theoretical modelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193 7.3.1 Models of the Uranus spectropolarimetry data . . . . . . . . 193 7.3.2 Models of Uranus-like and Neptune-like exoplanets . . . . . . 195 7.4 Discussion and summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196

    Chapter 8 Conclusions 200 8.1 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 8.2 Future work required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201

    3.19 Left: map of the variation on the CCD of PQ. Right: corresponding variation of PU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    3.20 Plots of PL vs. distance along the central meridian of Jupiter, as derived from three di↵ erent CCD images that were read out successively in the B filter, represented by di↵ erent colours, along with the error bars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    3.21 Same as for Fig. 3.20, but with the new alignment method. . . . . .

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