An infrared spatial interferometer has been developed to extend the spatial resolution of astronomical observations beyond the diffraction limits of existing telescopes. It is capable of measuring the angular diameters and shapes of circumstellar shells at wavelengths from 2 to 20 mu m. As a results, the angular resolution of routine telescopic observations at 1. 0 mu m has been extended from about 1 arcsec to about 0. 1 arcsec. The interferometer operates at the Cassegrain focus of conventional telescopes. It measures fringe visibilities at different separations and position angles of two circular beams projected onto opposite sides of the telescope's primary mirror. The circumstellar shells of several infrared stars have been resolved includinbg alpha Orionis, VY Canis Majoris, IRC plus 10216, IRC plus 10420, and NML Cygnus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics