A Planet with a Disc? A Surprising Detection in Polarised Light with VLT/SPHERE


With the Spectro-Polarimetric High- contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) we can study the linear polarisation of directly detected planets and brown dwarfs, to learn about their atmospheres and immediate environments. We summarise here the recent discovery of a low- mass companion in polarised light by Ginski et al. (2018). The object shows an extreme degree of polarisation, indicating the presence of a circumplanetary disc.

The Messenger