the ESPaDOnS twin spectropolarimeter atop Pic du Midi

NARVAL is a new generation stellar spectropolarimeter copied from ESPaDOnS and adapted to the specifics of the 2m Telescope Bernard Lyot (TBL) atop Pic du Midi in southwest France. Constructed by the TBL team under supervision from the original ESPaDOnS team in Toulouse at Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP), it was installed at TBL and commissionned in November 2006, and offered to the OPTICON community in early December 2006.

NARVAL@TBL is the only astronomical facility worldwide fully dedicated to stellar spectropolarimetry, and in particular to the study of stellar magnetic fields: it thus offers large amounts of observing time to the community and allows to undertake long-term monitoring and surveys of brighter targets. NARVAL/TBL also makes it possible to carry out coordinated observations with ESPaDOnS to ensure almost continuous monitoring of rotating and variable stars, thanks to the 160° shift in longitude between France and Hawaii: stars now never set on ESPaDOnS and NARVAL!

Recent news:
Connecter le soleil aux étoiles : vers une solution à l'enigme magnétique solaire ? published in MNRAS (2008 Jul 08)
Can massive stars regenerate their magnetism? published in MNRAS (2008 Jul 01)
The spinning magnet of Sun-like stars: are close-in giant planets forcing the engine? published in MNRAS (2008 Feb 12)
NARVAL@TBL: the first observatory dedicated to stellar magnetism (2007 Feb 01)

Specifics of NARVAL:
spectral response and throughput
spectral resolution and stability
polarisation analysis
ccd detector and readout
instrument picture gallery
project team and budget
Observing with NARVAL:
exposure time calculator
observers' guide
data collection and reduction
known technical issues
first scientific result
example of spectra and frames collected during first light
NARVAL is a collaborative project funded by France (Région Midi-Pyrénées, CNRS, MENESR, Conseil Général des Hautes Pyrénées) and the European Union (FEDER funds).

© Jean-François Donati, last update 2008 Jul 08