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Proceedings Paper

Science with the Space Interferometry Mission
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Paper Abstract

The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be NASA's first space-based optical interferometer. SIM will produce a wealth of new astronomical data and serve as a technology pathfinder for future astrophysics missions. The SIM architecture uses a 10-m Michelson interferometer in Earth- trailing solar orbit to provide 4 microarcsecond precision absolute position measurements of stars down to 20 magnitude. The corresponding parallax accuracy allows distance measurements to 10 percent accuracy on the far side of the Galaxy. With high-precision proper motions derived during its 5-year lifetime, SIM will address a variety of science questions relating to the formation and dynamics of our Galaxy. Using aperture synthesis, SIM will image in the visible waveband to a resolution of 10 milliarcsec, and will demonstrate interferometric nulling with suppression of the on-axis starlight to a level of 10-4. In this paper we present selected topics from the SIM science program focusing on some specific astronomical questions to be addressed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317144
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen C. Unwin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Slava G. Turyshev, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Shao, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


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

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