Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/47643
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The Polarization signature of extra-solar planets
International Astronomical Union Symposium (232nd : 2005) (14 - 18 November 2005 : Cape Town, South Africa)
Whitelock, Patricia Ann; Dennefeld, Michel; and Leibundgut, Bruno. The Scientific requirements for extremely large telescopes : proceedings of the 232nd symposium of the International Astronomical Union, p.350-355
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.