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D.P. Clemens, A. Pinnick, N. Bonaventura, D.S. Sarcia, A. Grabau (IAR/BU), E.V. Tollestrup (IAR/BU, IRTF/Hawaii), M. Buie, B. Taylor, E. Dunham (Lowell Obs.)
The new Mimir near-infrared wide-field imager, spectrometer, and polarimeter has been used on the 1.8m Perkins Telescope outside Flagstaff, Arizona to begin a project to systematically survey a large portion of the northern Galactic plane using infrared polarimetry. In this poster, we report the results of our initial observing run, during May and June of 2005, aimed at calibrating the Mimir instrument for polarimetric work and at performing two pilot surveys. During this run, Mimir was operated in the NIR H-band (1.6 microns) with a cold, rotating zero-order half-wave plate, a wire grid analyzer, and 10x10 arcmin wide-field imaging at 0.588 arcsec per pixel. Polarimetric calibration consisted of repeated observations of all available Whittet et al. polarization standards, including a 5x5 raster grid of observations of one highly polarized source across the instrument field of view, and repeated observations of unpolarized high-latitude globular clusters, also across the instrument field of view. The Pilot surveys consisted of targeted polarimetric observations of a number of star clusters located within one degree of latitude of the Galactic plane and area surveys toward L=49.5, the tangent direction to the Sagittarius spiral arm, and L=53, a comparison region located outside the Sagittarius arm. Both regions were observed with 21 10x10 arcmin footprints of Mimir, covering approximately one-half square degree each. Integration times were sufficient to polarimetrically probe to H=12, yielding thousands of newly measured stellar polarizations designed to uncover the projected direction of the Galactic magnetic field in front of the stars.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.