The polarization signature of extra-solar planets

J. Hough*, P. W. Lucas, J. Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Despite recent advances in the study of extra-solar planets the detection of reflected light from planetary atmospheres remains a major goal. For the so-called hot-Jupiters, which are unlikely to be spatially resolved from the central star in the foreseeable future, very high sensitivity measurements are required to detect the reflected signal from the very much larger direct starlight. We describe an optical photo-polarimeter designed to have a polarization sensitivity of at least 1 in 106 and some early observations made in an attempt to detect the polarization signature of τ Boo b. We discuss the role of such an instrument for the planned ELTs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)350-355
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
    Issue numberS232
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Instrumentation: polarimeters
    • Planets: extrasolar planets


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