Astronomical Polarimetry: Polarized Views of Stars and Planets


Polarization is a fundamental property of light from astronomical objects, and measuring that polarization often yields crucial information, which is unobtainable otherwise.This chapter reviews the useful formalisms for describing polarization in the optical regime, the mechanisms for the creation of such polarization, and methods for measuring it. Particular emphasis is given on how to implement a polarimeter within an astronomical facility, and on how to deal with systematic effects that often limit the polarimetric performance.

Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems. Volume 2: Astronomical Techniques, Software and Data