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Paper: Precision and Resolution in Stellar Spectropolarimetry
Volume: 437, Solar Polarization Workshop 6
Page: 257
Authors: Harrington, D. M.; Kuhn, J. R.
Abstract: Stellar spectropolarimetry is a relatively new remote sensing tool for exploring stellar atmospheres and circumstellar environments. We present the results of our HiVIS survey and a multi-wavelength ESPaDOnS follow-up campaign showing detectable linear polarization signatures in many lines for most obscured stars. This survey shows polarization at and below 0.1% across many lines are common in stars with often much larger Hα signatures. These smaller signatures are near the limit of typical systematic errors in most night-time spectropolarimeters. In an effort to increase our precision and efficiency for detecting small signals we designed and implemented the new HiVIS bi-directionally clocked detector synchronized with the new liquid-crystal polarimeter package. We can now record multiple independent polarized spectra in a single exposure on identical pixels and have demonstrated 10–4 relative polarimetric precision. The new detector allows for the movement of charge on the device to be synchronized with phase changes in the liquid-crystal variable retarders at rates of > 5Hz. It also allows for more efficient observing on bright targets by effectively increasing the pixel well depth. With the new detector, low and high resolution modes and polarization calibrations for the instrument and telescope, we substantially reduce limitations to the precision and accuracy of this new spectropolarimetric tool.
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