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Proceedings Paper

VEGA: a visible spectrograph and polarimeter for CHARA science cases description
Author(s): Philippe Stee; Denis Mourard; Daniel Bonneau; Paul Berlioz-Arthaud; Armando Domiciano de Souza; Renaud Foy; Petr Harmanec; Slobodan Jankov; Pierre Kervella; Pavel Koubsky; Stéphane Lagarde; Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin; Philippe Mathias; Antoine Mérand; Nicolas Nardetto; Romain G. Petrov; Karine Rousselet-Perraut; Chantal Stehlé; Gerd Weigelt
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Paper Abstract

Interferometry has been intensively done at long wavelengths, starting with the radio interferometers in the years 50 since it was easier to guide radio wavelengths in cable while keeping the phase information or using a local oscillator and a correlator to recombine "a posteriori" the beams over intercontinental distances. In the optical a lot of work as been done at IR and near-IR wavelengths since it was technically easier, or we must say, less difficult to recombine directly the optical beams since the coherence length is larger and the turbulence slower than at shorter wavelengths. Therefore, the visible domain of the electromagnetic spectrum is not covered at the same level than near or mid infrared. Some very nice and important results have been however obtained with the GI2T interferometer in south of France, the Mark III interferometer on the Mount Wilson, USA, the NPOI array in Flagstaff, USA or the SUSI interferometer in Australia. We will present in this paper the science cases of a new but already existing and tested instrument: the REGAIN focal instrument which was designed and built for the GI2T. This instrument, in his CHARA adaptation, called VEGA will open new fields in a wide range of Astrophysical topics only addressable in the visible domain. It will provide a spectral resolution up to 30000 within the spectral range 0.4-0.9 micron and a spatial resolution of less than 1mas for up to 4 telescopes in its X-lambda special configuration. A polarimetric device (SPIN) measuring simultaneously the polarization in 2 directions either circular or linear is also implemented in this instrument. Since VEGA was already tested on the sky on 1.5 m telescopes it is also very well suited for the 1m CHARA array and will only need minor adaptations for the injection of the CHARA beams. This paper will focus on some of the most promising science drivers only possible with this visible instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2006
PDF: 22 pages
Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 62683R (29 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.684479
Show Author Affiliations
Philippe Stee, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Denis Mourard, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Daniel Bonneau, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Paul Berlioz-Arthaud, Ctr. de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon (France)
Armando Domiciano de Souza, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Univ. de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France)
Renaud Foy, Ctr. de Recherche Astronomique de Lyon (France)
Petr Harmanec, Charles Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Slobodan Jankov, Univ. de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France)
Pierre Kervella, Observatoire de Paris, LESIA (France)
Pavel Koubsky, Astronomical Institute (Czech Republic)
Stéphane Lagarde, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
Philippe Mathias, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Antoine Mérand, Observatoire de Paris, LESIA (France)
CHARA/Georgia State Univ., Mount Wilson Observatory (United States)
Nicolas Nardetto, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
Romain G. Petrov, Univ. de Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France)
Karine Rousselet-Perraut, Lab. d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble (France)
Chantal Stehlé, Observatoire de Paris, LUTH (France)
Gerd Weigelt, Max Planck Institute für Radioastronomie (Germany)


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

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