AAS 197, January 2001
Session 12. Hubble Space Telescope: Instruments and Data Reduction
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[12.10] The Analysis of Polarized Light with NICMOS

D.C. Hines, G.D. Schmidt, G. Schneider (Steward Observatory)

The Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) provides high resolution (~ 0.1-0.2 arcseconds) near-infrared (~1 & 2 microns) imaging polarimetry over a fairly large field (~10-20 arcseconds). We review the characteristics of the polarimetry optics determined from preflight thermal vacuum tests, and from in-orbit observations. We present an algorithm (with up-to-date coefficients) for calculating Stokes parameter images, and demonstrate its successful application to selected NICMOS observations. We also present information on error distributions, the NICMOS instrumental polarization, and the nature and origin of image artifacts in the polarized images. Finally, we suggest observational techniques for obtaining high-quality polarimetry with the instrument both from data already obtained (e.g. in the STScI archive) and observations acquired after the successful installation of the NICMOS Cooling Systsem (NCS). A more detailed discussion of the results can also be found in Hines, Schmidt & Schneider 2000, PASP, 112, 983.

This work is supported by NASA grant NAG5-3042 to the NICMOS Instrument Definition team. NICMOS images were obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope which is administered by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/PASP/journal/issues/v112n773/200121/200121.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dhines@as.arizona.edu

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