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Proceedings Paper

Interferometric capability for the Magellan Project
Author(s): Nathaniel P. Carleton; Wesley A. Traub; James Roger P. Angel
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Paper Abstract

The Magellan Project is building two 6.5-m telescopes, 60 m apart, at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. There are on-going plans to combine the beams of the two main telescopes, and of smaller auxiliary telescopes, for interferometric measurements. In this paper we consider the array of auxiliary telescopes as a stand-alone instrument, recognizing that it will operate as such for some large fraction of the time. Our interest is sharpened by the availability of six 1.8-m optical systems, retired from the Smithsonian-Arizona Multiple-Mirror Telescope in preparation for the installation of a single-mirror 6.5-m system. We have completed a design for a 1.8-m telescope, in which the MMT components are supported on a proven tripod mount. The optics-support uses steel for stiffness, and low-thermal- expansion rods for passive stability. This array will be a powerful tool for the investigation of stellar limb darkening, surface features, and changes of diameter in pulsations, as well as dust disks, shells, and binary companions. The 1.8-m telescopes on good sites such as Magellan's should be able to operate at full aperture for interferometry at 2.2 micrometers . They should therefore be able to reach to magnitude K equals 10 or so, and thus to cover substantial samples of both main-sequence and pre-main- sequence stars, and of fully evolved stars as well.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 July 1998
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317139
Show Author Affiliations
Nathaniel P. Carleton, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Wesley A. Traub, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
James Roger P. Angel, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)

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

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