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SPACE ASTRONOMY LABORATORY

The HPOL Spectropolarimeter

The HPOL spectropolarimeter is a modified Boller and Chivens small telescope spectrograph. The system provides simultaneous spectrophotometry and spectropolarimetry over the range of 3200A to 10500A (prior to 1995, the spectral range was 3200A to 7750A), with a spectral resolution of 10A (25A prior to 1995). The halfwave plate is a super-achromatic half-wave retarder. The wave plate is rotated by a stepper motor and rack and pinion drive, with stops every 11.25 degrees. A Wollaston prism produces two orthogonally polarized beams (ordinary and extraordinary) separated perpendicular to the dispersion. The ultraviolet achromatic camera is specifically designed for this instrument. The camera is all-refractive, which eliminates vignetting and thus enhances the polarimetric stability. The image is focused on a 400 X 1200 pixel CCD. Through 2004, the instrument was primarily installed as a dedicated intrument to the 36" telescope at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Pine Bluff Observatory (PBO). HPOL was also mounted on the 3.5 m WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory for limited observational runs once a year or so. HPOL stopped taking data at PBO in October 2004 due to hardware problems.

HPOL no longer resides on the 36" telescope at Pine Bluff Observatory. It was relocated to Ritter Observatory, a 1-meter telescope at the University of Toledo run by the Ritter Astrophysical Research Center and refurbished. This project is led by Dr. Karen Bjorkman (University of Toledo), Dr. Jennifer Hoffman (University of Denver), Dr. James Davidson (University of Toledo) and Dr. Jon Bjorkman (University of Toledo).

HPOL has been in operation at the University of Toledo's Ritter Observatory, with 'first' light on March 11th, 2012. Final instrumental polarization calibrations have been created for observations from March 11, 2012 to May 2, 2013. Results to date from Ritter Observatory are comparable with results from PBO. This is the poster (pdf) presented at the 2014 January AAS:
The HPOL Spectropolarimeter and the First 1.5 Years of Operation at Ritter Observatory

Fits files and ASCII files for HPOL data taken from February 1989 through new! March 4, 2000 new! can be obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) .
March 05, 2000 - October 10, 2004 data will be delivered to the MAST and archived in the future.


HPOL Programs

ISM Interstellar Medium (ISM)
Be's Be Stars (Be) - A Spectropolarimetric Atlas of 61 Northern Be Stars-Vol. 1 (1989-1994 Results)
LRVs Luminous Red Variables (LRVs)
SGs Hot Super Giants (OBsg)
IntBin Interacting Binaries (IntBin)
Ae/Be Herbig Ae/Be stars (AeBe)
SS Solar System objects including planets, comets, moons, and asteroids (Sol-Sys)
Novae Novae
WRs Wolf-Rayet stars (WR)
Symb Symbiotic stars (Symb)
Calib Pol and Unpol Standards (Pol-St, Unpol)
Misc Miscellany (all other targets of interest)


The HPOL target database was last updated Jul 07, 2014.

Poster presented at the 2011 STARPOL meeting:
HPOL: World's Largest Database of Optical Spectropolarimetry


This plot shows all HPOL observations in galactic longitude and latitude.
HPOL observations


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