PASIPHAE – A Sky Surveying Project

16 June 2021 Current Affairs:The Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in India is developing the Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter (WALOP). WALOP is a critical component of the PASIPHAE Project. The Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) is a collaborative international sky surveying project.

About the PASIPHAE Survey:
♦ It is an Opto polarimetric survey with the goal of measuring the linear polarisation of millions of stars. 
♦ The survey will use 2 high-tech optical polarimeters to simultaneously observe the southern and northern sky.
♦ The survey will be carried out simultaneously from the South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland, South Africa, in the southern hemisphere, and the Skinakas Observatory in Crete, Greece, in the north.

About WALOP:
♦ The WALOP will be able to observe hundreds of stars in both the northern and southern skies at the same time.
♦ It will work on the principle that data from a portion of the sky under observation will be split into four different channels at any given time.
♦ The polarisation value from the star is calculated based on how light passes through the four channels. 

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