Diffraction-limited polarimetric imaging of protoplanetary disks and mass-loss shells with VAMPIRES

Barnaby R. M. Norris*, Peter Tuthill, Nemanja Jovanovic, Julien Lozi, Olivier Guyon, Nick Cvetojevic, Frantz Martinache

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Both the birth and death of a stellar system are areas of key scientific importance. Whether it's understanding the process of planetary formation in a star's early years, or uncovering the cause of the enormous mass-loss that takes place during a star's dying moments, a key to scientific understanding lies in the inner few AU of the circumstellar environment. Corresponding to scales of 10s of milli-arcseconds, these observations pose a huge technical challenge due to the high angular-resolutions and contrasts required. A major stumbling block is the problem of the Earth's own atmospheric turbulence. The other difficulty is that precise calibration is required to combat the extremely high contrast ratios and high resolutions faced. By taking advantage of the fact that starlight scattered by dust in the circumstellar region is polarized, differential polarimetry can help achieve this calibration. Spectral features can also be utilized.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019
EditorsSimon Ellis, Céline d'Orgeville
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781510631472
ISBN (Print)9781510631465
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020
EventAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201912 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019


  • Aperture masking
  • Exoplanets
  • Interferometry
  • Polarimetry
  • Protoplanetary disks
  • Subaru telescope


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