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Proceedings Paper

Early type stars as calibrators for ground-based interferometry
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Paper Abstract

Visibility measurements with Michelson interferometers, particularly the measurement of fringe contrast, are affected by various atmospheric and instrumental effects, all of which reduce the measured contrast. To compensate for this, stars with known or predictable diameters (calibrators) are observed so that the overall reduction in the visibility can be measured. Objects with the smallest possible diameters are preferred as calibrators, since the predicted visibilities become less sensitive to any uncertainties. Therefore, unreddened, early type stars are usually chosen if they are available because they are relatively bright for a given angular diameter. However, early type stars bring additional complications. Rapid rotation, common with these stars can cause variations in the visibility amplitudes due to oblateness and surface brightness asymmetries that are larger than implied by the usual error estimates. In addition, rotation can introduce significant phase offsets. Using Roche models, von Zeipel theory, and the observed constraints of V, B-V, and v sin i, it is possible to put limits on the size of these effects and even estimate the distribution of possible visibilities. To make this easily available to the community, we are in the process of creating a catalog of possible calibrators, including histograms of the visibilities, calculated for configurations used at a number of observatories. We show the examples of several early type stars which are potential calibrators using parameters appropriate for the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 626848 (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670309
Show Author Affiliations
Jinmi Yoon, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Deane M. Peterson, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Thomas Armstrong, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
James H. Clark III, U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station (United States)
Charmaine Gilbreath, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Thomas Pauls, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Henrique R. Schmitt, Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6268:
Advances in Stellar Interferometry
John D. Monnier; Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi, Editor(s)

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