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Proceedings Paper

Optical Concepts For The Binary Star Explorer
Author(s): Wesley A. Traub; Derck L. Massa; Andrew S. Endal; Jacques M. Beckers; David W. Latham; Harold A. McAlister; Sidney B. Parsons
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Paper Abstract

We describe the conceptual design of a proposed first-generation optical in-terferometer in space, the Binary Star Explorer. The scientific objectives for this interferometer are to determine the fundamental astrophysical quantities of distance and mass for stars in binary systems. In particular, the interferometer will be able to make accurate distance measurements to an estimated 40 Cepheid binary systems in our Galaxy, and 28 supergiant binary systems in the LMC. The interferometer comprises two fixed telescopes on a 5 m baseline, beam-combining optics, and a visible/ultraviolet fringe detecting system. We determine the angular separation of binary systems made up of a cool giant star and hot dwarf companion by measuring the shift between the optical and ultraviolet fringes. In combination with knowledge of the physical size of the orbit (which must be obtained separately from radial velocity measurements on both stars), the distance to the binary is obtained as the ratio of the physical to angular sizes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 1987
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0751, Reflective Optics, (10 June 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.939894
Show Author Affiliations
Wesley A. Traub, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Derck L. Massa, Applied Research Corporation (United States)
Andrew S. Endal, Applied Research Corporation (United States)
Jacques M. Beckers, NOAO (United States)
David W. Latham, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (United States)
Harold A. McAlister, Georgia State University (United States)
Sidney B. Parsons, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0751:
Reflective Optics
Dietrich G. Korsch, Editor(s)

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