Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 239, Issue 2, pp 259–274 | Cite as

A novel quadruple beam imaging polarimeter and its application to Comet Tanaka-Machholz 1992 X

  • E. H. Geyer
  • K. Jockers
  • N. N. Kiselev
  • G. P. Chernova


For observations of solar system objects an imaging polarimeter has been constructed as an auxiliary instrument for a f/15 focal reducer. With this instrument simultaneous measurement of theQ andU Stokes parameters is possible. It contains no moving parts such as a moving λ/2 retarder. The polarizer consists of two Wollaston prisms which are combined to form a single optical element. Their polarization angles differ by 45°. This compound polarizer is placed in the exit pupil of the afocal telescope-collimator system of the focal reducer and splits the exit pupil into halves. In this way four polarized beams with E-vector orientations 0°, 90°, 45°, and 135° emerge from the exit pupil. These are intercepted by the camera lens of the focal reducer system and imaged simultaneously on the CCD detector. With a properly designed field mask at the Cassegrain focus, the four beams are imaged without overlap.

As a demonstration of the capabilities of this quadruple-beam Wollaston-prism polarimeter, we present observations of comet Tanaka-Machholz 1992 X in May 1992. The advantages, shortcomings, and possible improvements of the instrument are discussed.

Key words

Polarimeters Comet Tanaka-Machholz 1992 X 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. H. Geyer
    • 1
  • K. Jockers
    • 2
  • N. N. Kiselev
    • 1
  • G. P. Chernova
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatory Hoher ListDaunGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institute for AeronomyKatlenburg-LindauGermany

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