Program Zurich


Calibration targets for astronomical polarimetry for the 0.3 to 30 μm wavelength range


Dates: 23-24 January 2013

Location: Institute of Astronomy, HIT building, J-Floor, ETH Zurich, Science City Hönggerberg, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland

SOC: Stefano Bagnulo, Mathieu Barthelemy, Silvano Fineschi, Herve Lamy, Arturo Lopez Ariste, Hans Martin Schmid (chair), Frans Snik.

LOC: M. Chiesi, H.M. Schmid


Outline: New science opportunities are opened for astronomical polarimetry by large ground-based telescopes and new instruments. However, some of these instruments require better or new polarimetric measuring and calibration strategies. This workshop will address the polarimetric calibration requirements of modern and future polarimetric measurements. The need for better on-sky calibration and test targets shall be discussed and new initiatives for establishing better calibration targets and better calibrated polarimetric instruments shall be proposed and discussed.


Workshop goals:

  1. Review the measuring and calibration limits of existing and future polarimetric instruments
  2. Compile information from the community on polarimetric calibration targets (via questionnaire)
  3. Identify needs for new, more or better calibration targets for astronomical polarimetry
  4. Initiate new observing programs for better calibration targets with improved parameters

The scientific report of the meeting is available here in PDF format.



Click on the titles below to downoad the corresponding presentations.


Stefano Bagnulo : Polarimetric definitions

Hans Martin Schmid : Questionnaire survey on standard stars


Kiselev Nikolai - Experience in the Use of Polarization Standards for Determining the Parameters of Instrumental Linear Polarization for Small Telescopes 0.7–2.6m with Photoelectric Polarimeters

Kochukhov Oleg - Calibrating high-resolution four Stokes parameter observations of magnetic stars.

Słowikowska, Agnieszka - Polarimetric standards for white dwarf observations

Rosenbush, Vera K. - Standards Stars for Determination of Instrumental Polarization and Handedness Calibration Used to Search for Circular Polarization in Comets

Schmid, Hans Martin -Standard stars for the ZIMPOL polarimeter of the SPHERE VLT planet finder


SESSION 2 : Calibration of Solar polarimetry and Earth atmosphere observations

Gerardo Capobianco - Polarized V-band Stars for In-flight Calibration of Space-borne Solar Coronagraphs

Bianda, Michele - Problems related to an absolute calibration in solar scattering polarization measurements with ZIMPOL.

Barthélemy, Mathieu - Can the thermospheric green line at 557nm be considered as a non-polarised standard



Bagnulo, Stefano - Polarimetry with FORS

Harrington, David M. - Polarization Calibration Limits for High-Resolution Spectropolarimeters and Complex Optical Systems

Buckley, David - Polarimetry with the SALT

Lopez Ariste, Arturo - Polarimetry in a Nasmyth focus

Snik, Frans - Calibrating all relevant parameters of the instrumental polarization matrix using standard stars: case study with VLT/NaCo.

Gritsevich, Maria - The portable Finnish Geodetic Institute Field Goniospectrometer

Rodenhuis Michiel - Calibration Methods for the Extreme Polarimeter (ExPo)

Hashimoto, Jun - SEEDS project of the polarimetric imaging survey of protoplanetary disks in the Subaru telescope

van Harten, Gerard - Design of a partially polarized calibration stimulus



Piskunov, Nikolai - IR Spectropolarimetry with the CRIRES+

Bazzon, Andreas - Calibration strategy for SPHERE/ZIMPOL



  1. Avenhaus, Henning    ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Bagnulo, Stefano    Armagh Observatory, UK
  3. Barthélemy, Mathieu    IPAG Grenoble, France
  4. Bazzon, Andreas    ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  5. Bianda, Michele    IRSOL, Switzerland
  6. Buckley, David    SAAO, South-Africa
  7. Capobianco, Gerardo    INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Italy
  8. De Boer, Jos    Leiden University, Netherlands
  9. Fineschi, Silvano    INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, Italy
  10. Fujiyoshi, Takuya,  NOAJ, Japan
  11. Garufi, Antonio    ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  12. Gisler, Daniel   KIS, Freiburg, Germany
  13. Gritsevich, Maria     University of Helsinki, Finland
  14. Harrington, David M.    Honolulu, USA
  15. Hashimoto, Jun    NAOJ, Japan
  16. Heidt, Jochen    Uni Heidelberg, Germany
  17. Kiselev, Nikolai N.    Main Astronomical Observatory, Kyiv, Ukraine
  18. Kochukhov,Oleg     Uppsala University, Sweden
  19. Krzeszowski, Krzysztof     Kepler Institute Zielona Gora, Poland
  20. Kuzmychov, Oleksii     KIS, Freiburg, Germany
  21. Lopez Ariste, Arturo    THEMIS, Tenerife, Spain
  22. Piskunov, Nikolai     Uppsala University, Sweden
  23. Quanz, Sascha     ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  24. Ramelli,  Renzo    IRSOL, Switzerland
  25. Rodenhuis, Michiel   Leiden Observatory, Netherlands
  26. Rosenbush, Vera K.     Main Astronomical Observatory, Kyiv, Ukraine
  27. Schmid, Hans Martin     ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  28. Słowikowska, Agnieszka    Kepler Institute Zielona Gora, Poland
  29. Snik, Frans    Leiden University, Netherlands
  30. van Harten, Gerard     Leiden Observatory, Netherlands