Polarization analysis of the VLTI and GRAVITY - Météo-France Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2024

Polarization analysis of the VLTI and GRAVITY

F. Widmann
X. Haubois
  • Function : Author
N. Schuhler
  • Function : Author
O. Pfuhl
  • Function : Author
F. Eisenhauer
  • Function : Author
S. Gillessen
  • Function : Author
A. Amorim
  • Function : Author
M. Bauböck
  • Function : Author
H. Bonnet
  • Function : Author
G. Bourdarot
  • Function : Author
W. Brandner
  • Function : Author
R. Davies
  • Function : Author
P. de Zeeuw
  • Function : Author
J. Dexter
  • Function : Author
A. Drescher
A. Eckart
  • Function : Author
H. Feuchtgruber
  • Function : Author
N. Schreiber
P. Garcia
  • Function : Author
R. Genzel
  • Function : Author
M. Hartl
  • Function : Author
F. Haußmann
  • Function : Author
G. Heißel
  • Function : Author
T. Henning
  • Function : Author
S. Hippler
  • Function : Author
M. Horrobin
  • Function : Author
A. Jiménez-Rosales
A. Kaufer
  • Function : Author
P. Léna
  • Function : Author
D. Lutz
F. Mang
  • Function : Author
N. More
  • Function : Author
M. Nowak
  • Function : Author
T. Ott
  • Function : Author
S. Rabien
  • Function : Author
D. Ribeiro
  • Function : Author
M. Sadun Bordoni
  • Function : Author
S. Scheithauer
  • Function : Author
J. Shangguan
  • Function : Author
T. Shimizu
  • Function : Author
O. Straub
  • Function : Author
C. Straubmeier
E. Sturm
  • Function : Author
L. Tacconi
  • Function : Author
F. Vincent
  • Function : Author
S. von Fellenberg
  • Function : Author
E. Wieprecht
  • Function : Author
E. Wiezorrek
  • Function : Author
J. Woillez
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Aims. The goal of this work is to characterize the polarization effects of the beam path of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the GRAVITY beam combiner instrument. This is useful for two reasons: to calibrate polarimetric observations with GRAVITY for instrumental effects and to understand the systematic error introduced to the astrometry due to birefringence when observing targets with a significant intrinsic polarization. Methods. By combining a model of the VLTI light path and its mirrors and dedicated experimental data, we constructed a full polarization model of the VLTI Unit Telescopes (UTs) and the GRAVITY instrument. We first characterized all telescopes together to construct a universal UT calibration model for polarized targets with the VLTI. We then expanded the model to include the differential birefringence between the UTs. With this, we were able to constrain the systematic errors and the contrast loss for highly polarized targets. Results. Along with this paper, we have published a standalone Python package that can be used to calibrate the instrumental effects on polarimetric observations. This enables the community to use GRAVITY with the UTs to observe targets in a polarimetric observing mode. We demonstrate the calibration model with the Galactic Center star IRS 16C. For this source, we were able to constrain the polarization degree to within 0.4% and the polarization angle to within 5° while being consistent with the literature values. Furthermore, we show that there is no significant contrast loss, even if the science and fringe-tracker targets have significantly different polarization, and we determine that the phase error in such an observation is smaller than 1 ° , corresponding to an astrometric error of 10 µas. Conclusions. With this work, we enable the use by the community of the polarimetric mode with GRAVITY/UTs and outline the steps necessary to observe and calibrate polarized targets with GRAVITY. We demonstrate that it is possible to measure the intrinsic polarization of astrophysical sources with high precision and that polarization effects do not limit astrometric observations of polarized targets.
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
aa47238-23.pdf (1.94 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive
Licence : CC BY - Attribution

Dates and versions

hal-04449277 , version 1 (12-02-2024)

Identifiers

Cite

F. Widmann, X. Haubois, N. Schuhler, O. Pfuhl, F. Eisenhauer, et al.. Polarization analysis of the VLTI and GRAVITY. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2024, 681, pp.A115. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202347238⟩. ⟨hal-04449277⟩
6 View
0 Download

Altmetric

Share

Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More