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Proceedings Paper

The 2014 interferometric imaging beauty contest
Author(s): John D. Monnier; Jean-Philippe Berger; Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin; Peter G Tuthill; Markus Wittkowski; Rebekka Grellmann; André Müller; Sridhar Renganswany; Christian Hummel; Karl-Heinz Hofmann; Dieter Schertl; Gerd Weigelt; John Young; David Buscher; Joel Sanchez-Bermudez; Antxon Alberdi; Rainer Schoedel; Rainer Köhler; Ferréol Soulez; Éric Thiébaut; Jacques Kluska; Fabien Malbet; Gilles Duvert; Stefan Kraus; Brian K. Kloppenborg; Fabien Baron; Willem-Jan de Wit; Thomas Rivinius; Antoine Merand
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Paper Abstract

Here we present the results of the 6th biennial optical interferometry imaging beauty contest. Taking advantage of a unique opportunity, the red supergiant VY CMa and the Mira variable R Car were observed in the astronomical H-band with three 4-telescope configurations of the VLTI-AT array using the PIONIER instrument. The community was invited to participate in the subsequent image reconstruction and interpretation phases of the project. Ten groups submitted entries to the beauty contest, and we found reasonable consistency between images obtained from independent workers using quite different algorithms. We also found that significant differences existed between the submitted images, much greater than in past beauty contests that were all based on simulated data. A novel crowd-sourcing" method allowed consensus median images to be constructed, filtering likely artifacts and retaining real features." We definitively detect strong spots on the surfaces of both stars as well as distinct circumstellar shells of emission (likely water/CO) around R Car. In a close contest, Joel Sanchez (IAA-CSIC/Spain) was named the winner of the 2014 interferometric imaging beauty contest. This process has shown that new comers" can use publicly-available imaging software to interpret VLTI/PIONIER imaging data, as long as sufficient observations are taken to have complete uv coverage { a luxury that is often missing. We urge proposers to request adequate observing nights to collect sufficient data for imaging and for time allocation committees to recognise the importance of uv coverage for reliable interpretation of interferometric data. We believe that the result of the proposed broad international project will contribute to inspiring trust in the image reconstruction processes in optical interferometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 2014
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 9146, Optical and Infrared Interferometry IV, 91461Q (24 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057312
Show Author Affiliations
John D. Monnier, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Jean-Philippe Berger, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Jean-Baptiste Le Bouquin, Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (France)
Peter G Tuthill, Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
Markus Wittkowski, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Rebekka Grellmann, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
André Müller, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Sridhar Renganswany, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Christian Hummel, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Karl-Heinz Hofmann, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Dieter Schertl, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Gerd Weigelt, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
John Young, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
David Buscher, Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Joel Sanchez-Bermudez, Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Spain)
Antxon Alberdi, Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Spain)
Rainer Schoedel, Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (Spain)
Rainer Köhler, Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany)
Ferréol Soulez, Ctr. de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (France)
Éric Thiébaut, Ctr. de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon (France)
Jacques Kluska, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (France)
Fabien Malbet, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (France)
Gilles Duvert, Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble (France)
Stefan Kraus, Univ. of Exeter (United Kingdom)
Brian K. Kloppenborg, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Fabien Baron, Georgia State Univ. (United States)
Willem-Jan de Wit, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Thomas Rivinius, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Antoine Merand, European Southern Observatory (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9146:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry IV
Jayadev K. Rajagopal; Michelle J. Creech-Eakman; Fabien Malbet, Editor(s)

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