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Proceedings Paper

Fine guidance sensors aboard the Hubble Space Telescope: the scientific capabilities of these interferometers
Author(s): Edmund P. Nelan; Olivia L. Lupie; Barbara McArthur; G. Fritz Benedict; Otto G. Franz; Larry H. Wasserman; Linda Abramowicz-Reed; Russell B. Makidon; Lauretta Nagel
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Paper Abstract

The fine guidance sensors (FGS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) are optical white light shearing interferometers that offer a unique capability to astronomers. The FGS's photometric dynamic range, fringe visibility, and fringe tracking ability allow the instrument to exploit the benefits of performing interferometry form a space-based platform. The FGSs routinely provide HST with 2 milli-seconds of arc pointing stability. The FGS designated as the Astronomer, FGS3, has also been used to (1) perform 2 mas relative astrometry over the central 4 arc minutes of its field of view, (2) determine the true relative orbits of close faint binary systems, (3) measure the angular diameter of a giant star, (4) search for extra-solar planets, (5) observe occultations of stars by solar system objects, as well as (6) photometrically monitor stellar flares on a low mas M dwarf. In this paper we discuss this unique instrument, its design, performance, and the areas of science for which it is the only device able to successfully observe objects of interest.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317121
Show Author Affiliations
Edmund P. Nelan, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Olivia L. Lupie, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Barbara McArthur, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
G. Fritz Benedict, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Otto G. Franz, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Larry H. Wasserman, Lowell Observatory (United States)
Linda Abramowicz-Reed, Raytheon Optical Systems, Inc. (United States)
Russell B. Makidon, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Lauretta Nagel, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)

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

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