RESEARCH IN MEASUREMENT OF RATIOS OF POLARIZATION TO ABSORPTION FOR STARS ALONG THE MILKY WAY.
Final rept. 1 May 63-31 Mar 68,
HARVARD COLL OBSERVATORY CAMBRIDGE MASS
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Following a study of existing stellar polarimeters, there emerged the optical, mechanical and electronic design of an eight color, two channel, d.c. integrating polarimeter to be used primarily at the Cassegrain focus of the 61-inch reflector at Harvard Universitys G. R. Agassiz Station. The instrument was assembled and tested at the Harvard College Observatory and has been in full operation for nearly one year. Its performance has proven excellent, and with a basic semi-automatic operation cycle of 13.5 minutes it can produce monochromatic polarization measures for stars brighter than ninth magnitude with a precision of about plus or minus 0.2 per cent. Observations have been made of 1 numerous stars along the Milky Way, 2 two galactic novae, 3 several planetary nebulae, 4 satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, 5 several asteroids, and 6 several miscellaneous stars of unusual interest. Most objects have been observed polarimetrically for the first time, and the results have either been reported or will soon be reported in the astronomical literature. Author