SPHERE : a new polarimetric imager at VLT

SPHERE is offered for the first time at the ESO VLT in Period 95 pending successful commissioning and for a limited set of modes and setups. SPHERE is a high-contrast extreme-AO system which is optimized for highest resolution and contrast performance in a narrow field of view around bright targets in the visible or near infrared. The instrument will become one of the most sensitive instruments for high contrast imaging of extra-solar planets and the circumstellar material around bright stars. In particular in the visible the Zurich IMaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) provides diffraction limited differential polarimetric imaging at 20 mas resolution. ZIMPOL is a high-precision imaging polarimeter based on the fast modulation-demodulation principle, which can be combined with a set of coronagraphs and a wide range of different broad- and narrow-band filters, as well as various line filters. The instrument can also be operated in non-coronagraphic mode which allows for a wide range of scientific measurements. For an overview of SPHERE and the offered modes for P95 see


Proposal deadline for P95: 01 October 2014, 12:00 noon CEST