The POMM instrument at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory (credit: F. Robichaud)
Technical Specifications
Instrument Name Polarimètre de l'Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic
Acronym POMM
First Light November 2014
Wavelength Regime
Instrument Type Polarimeter
Status Operational at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

POMM (Polarimètre de l’Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic) was designed and built by the Institut national d’optique (INO) in Ste-Foy, Quebec, under the supervision of Prof. Pierre Bastien, who is affiliated with the Université de Montréal (UdeM). Astronomers use polarimeters to analyse the polarisation of light from celestial objects, shedding light on various aspects of astrophysical phenomena. These instruments help scientists to understand the magnetic fields, scattering properties, and geometric characteristics of astronomical sources, providing crucial information on the nature and behavior of objects in the Universe. The instrument was delivered to the UdeM in January 2014 and completed its initial engineering mission at the OMM in April of the same year. POMM made its first successful observations in November 2014. Subsequently, after multiple missions and maintenance tasks at OMM, POMM was temporarily returned to the INO in January 2017 for important upgrades. It has been operational again at the OMM since December 2019.

In addition to serving UdeM researchers, POMM is also used by researchers at McGill University and the University of New Brunswick. This versatile instrument is particularly well suited to observing a wide range of celestial objects, including exoplanets, stars, brown dwarfs, debris disks, and comets. En outre, il permet de mener des recherches sur la polarisation du milieu interstellaire.