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The Very precise Echelle SpectroPolarimeter on the Araki telescope (VESPolA)

Arasaki, Takayuki; Ikeda, Yuji; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Itose, Chisato; Nakamichi, Akika; Kawakita, Hideyo
2015, PASJ
■ アブストラクト
We report on the construction of a high-resolution spectropolarimeter, the Very precise Echelle SpectroPolarimeter on the Araki telescope (VESPolA). The instrument operates in the visible spectral range, i.e., 400-850 nm, and is mounted on the 1.3 m Araki telescope at the Koyama Astronomical Observatory of Kyoto Sangyo University (Kyoto, Japan). It employs an echelle-type spectrograph and a non-ripple super-achromatic half-wave plate, resulting in high polarimetric accuracy of δP < 0.1% for linear polarization with a spectral resolution of R = 8000 at the central wavelengths and a wide wavelength coverage of δλ = 150-250 nm in a single exposure. VESPolA is designed for 1-2 m telescopes that have a Cassegrain focus. This configuration provides a dozen polarization line profiles of various nuclear species from the target spectra simultaneously, and we can therefore obtain complementary information on both the geometry and the velocity field of the nebular emission lines from the circumstellar envelopes. We evaluated the performance of our system by observing a spectroscopic standard star and several polarization standard stars during 2012-2013. VESPolA achieved a spectral resolution 7750 < R < 8250, with a polarimetric accuracy of δP < 0.1% for linear polarization and a limiting magnitude of mv = 7.8 mag with δP < 0.1% and an integration time of 4 hr. We show preliminary results of variable stars P Cyg, β Lyr, and VY CMa. We observed polarization profiles across the Hα and He lines, as well as the TiO absorption bands, which indicate a complex spatial distribution and velocity field of the surrounding gaseous nebulae.