Nov 12, 2012
Antonio Mario Magalhaes, Instituto de Astronomia, Geofisica e Ciencias Atmosfericas
"SOUTH POL: Revealing the Polarized Southern Sky"
I will describe SOUTH POL, a survey of the Southern sky in optical polarized light. It will use a newly designed polarimeter at an 80cm Robotic Telescope. Telescope and polarimeter will be installed at CTIO, Chile, in 2013. The initial goal is to cover the sky south of declination -15° in about two years of observing time, aiming at a polarimetric accuracy ≲ 0.1% down to V=15, with a camera covering a field of about 2.0 square degrees.
SOUTH POL will impact areas such as Cosmology, Extragalactic Astronomy, Interstellar Medium of the Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds, Star Formation, Stellar Envelopes, Stellar Explosions and Solar System, among others. Science examples will be drawn from recent work in O/IR polarimetry.
All-sky optical/NIR polarimetric surveys will be fundamental for supporting the science with both the current telescopes and future ones such as the E-ELT. We point out that such surveys are now feasible and within the reach of the astronomical community.