AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Spectro-Polarimetry: Another New Frontier (Abstract)

Volume 42 number 2 (2014)

John Menke
22500 Old Hundred Road, Barnesville, MD 20838; john@menkescientific.com

Abstract

(Abstract only) The challenge of spectroscopic research on Class B emission stars is to figure out what the emission star is doing that causes changes in the spectrum as often as every day. In many cases, it appears that stellar magnetic fields interacting with gas material from the rotating star are implicated. One effect of that should be increased polarization of the light associated with the spectral features. I have constructed a polarimeter fitted to the home-built spectrometer and 18-inch telescope to allow possible measurement of these effects. Construction, operation, and initial measurements with the spectro-polarimeter (S-P) will be described.