Reopening the window of astronomical X-ray polarimetry with PolarLight

Polarimetry in the X-ray band is argued to be a powerful and sometimes
unique tool in diagnosing the magnetic field, geometry and emission
mechanism in astrophysics. PolarLight, which is a miniature X-ray
polarimeter onboard a CubeSat, is the first dedicated astronomical X-ray
polarimeter since the OSO-8 experiment in 1970s. It was launched into a
low-Earth orbit in October 2018 and is still working in space. In this
talk, I will introduce the PoarLight space program and the science
results that have been obtained with it.

Hua Feng (Tsinghua University)
Subo Dong
Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 4:00PM to Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 5:00PM
Hua Feng is a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Tsinghua University. He received his bachelor’s and PhD degrees at Tsinghua University, and was a postdoc and subsequently an assistant research scientist at the University of Iowa before he joined the faculty at Tsinghua. He conducts research in high energy astrophysics, focusing on observational X-ray astronomy and instrumentation for future space programs. He led the launch and operation of Polar Light, which is the first dedicated soft X-ray polarimeter in space since the OSO-8 experiment in the 1970s. He is also interested in X-ray and optical observations of accreting compact objects, trying to reveal observational signatures associated with supercritical accretion. In recent years, he is particularly interested in understanding the outflow driven by supercritical accretion.