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Proceedings Paper

Astrometry with the Keck Interferometer
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Paper Abstract

A key thrust of NASA's Origins program is the search for and detection of planetary systems about other stars. Pursuing this goal in a cost-effective and expedient manner from the ground has led NASA to begin work on the Keck Interferometer, which will add 4 1.8m 'outrigger' telescopes at the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. In addition to the imaging science to be performed by the Keck 10m telescopes with the outriggers, another one of the principal capabilities of the instrument will be the ability for the outriggers to conduct relative astrometry at the 25 microarcsecond level per root hour. Astrometry of this accuracy will enable the array to detect planetary systems composed of Uranus-mass or larger bodies orbiting at 5 AU solar mass stars at a distance of 20 pc; over 300 stars are to be surveyed by the outriggers annually. The astrometric capabilities of the Keck array can also be utilized other astrophysical investigations, such as characterization of spectroscopic binary orbits, and the measurement of the center-of-light shift of MACHO microlensing events, which will allow for a model-independent determinations of lens masses.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317098
Show Author Affiliations
Gerard Theodore van Belle, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Andrew F. Boden, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
M. Mark Colavita, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Gautam Vasisht, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Kent Wallace, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3350:
Astronomical Interferometry
Robert D. Reasenberg, Editor(s)

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