INFRARED SPATIAL INTERFEROMETRY: PRESENT STATUS AND FUTURE PLANS.

Donald W Mccarthy, F. J. Low, R. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An infrared spatial interferometer has achieved an order-of-magnitude improvement in the angular resolution of ground-based telescopic observations at wavelengths from 2. 2 to 20 mu m. Using incoherent detectors to measure fringe visibility versus baseline, this instrument has obtained an effective angular resolution of 0. 1 arcsec at 10. 2 mu m with a 3. 2m baseline in 3 arcsec conditions of visual atmospheric ″seeing″ . Observations are made at eight wavelengths to probe different levels of temperature and density in circumstellar envelopes. Twenty-three stars of various spectral types are partially resolved and upper limits placed on the sizes of 25 others. Three stars contain flattened, disk-shaped envelopes. At 10. 2 mu m, objects as faint as zero magnitude have been measured. Significant improvements in sensitivity are expected using a composite diamond-germanium bolometer operating under low background conditions and cooled to 0. 3K in a newly developed He**3 cryostat. Angular resolution can be doubled using a less than equivalent to 6. 5m baseline provided by the Multiple Mirror Telescope. Plans to use the MMT as a multi-element spatial interferometer will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Volume172
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

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Interferometry
Interferometers
Stars
Infrared radiation
Wavelength
Bolometers
Cryostats
Germanium
Visibility
Telescopes
Diamonds
Mirrors
Detectors
Composite materials
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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INFRARED SPATIAL INTERFEROMETRY : PRESENT STATUS AND FUTURE PLANS. / Mccarthy, Donald W; Low, F. J.; Howell, R.

In: Proceedings of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, Vol. 172, 1979, p. 140-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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