26 September 2007 Mid-IR polarimetry: new vistas for SOFIA
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Mid-infrared polarimetry remains an underexploited technique; where available it is limited in spectral coverage from the ground, and conspicuously absent from both the Spitzer and JWST instrument suites. The unique characteristics of SOFIA affords unprecedented spectral coverage and sensitivity in the mid-infrared waveband, offering new vistas in the exploration of astrophysical objects, including (a) galaxies and AGN, (b) star formation regions and (c) debris disks. Furthering the existing 5-40μm imaging and spectroscopic capabilities of SOFIA, and the University of Florida's mid-IR imagers, spectrometer and polarimeter designs of T-ReCS and CanariCam, we present an overview of science highlights that could be performed from a ~5-40μm imaging- and spectro-polarimeter on SOFIA. A secondary science driver is the inclusion of low- to moderate- resolution (total flux) spectroscopy at these wavelengths. Such an instrument concept would plug an unfilled area of both SOFIA and space-based instrumentation, providing SOFIA with unique and exciting science capabilities.
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Christopher C. Packham, Christopher C. Packham, David J. Axon, David J. Axon, James H. Hough, James H. Hough, Terry J. Jones, Terry J. Jones, Patrick F. Roche, Patrick F. Roche, Motohide Tamura, Motohide Tamura, Charles M. Telesco, Charles M. Telesco, "Mid-IR polarimetry: new vistas for SOFIA", Proc. SPIE 6678, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV, 66780F (26 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734420; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.734420

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