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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

First spectro-interferometry on galactic center sources in the infrared: results and science prospects at the sensitivity limit of current larger aperture arrays

Paper Abstract

The current results of our ongoing Galactic Center (GC) observations with optical long baseline interferometry (OLB-IF) are presented. We achieved first IR-IF fringes in both available IR science regimes of the VLTI (MIDI: 10 μm) and (AMBER: 2 μm), demonstrating the new capabilities provided by large aperture telescope arrays to the Galactic center research. We show that the highest angular resolution only available through interferometric techniques is necessary to observe the GC ISM production in the making and distinguish individual sources from its dusty surroundings. An overview over the currently available IF-technology is given, biased towards the GC science case. The feasibility of phase-referencing to the supergiant GCIRS 7, located only 5" away from SgrA*, to increase the sensitivity and spectral resolution of the observations, is discussed, and supported by the first real data. The presentation will conclude with an outlook to the near future about how the upcoming astrometric and off-axis phase-referencing capabilities of the Keck and VLT Interferometers, nicknamed ASTRA and PRIMA, will greatly extend the currently existing capabilities to observe astrophysical phenomena in the Galactic center at the borderline to General relativity in a yet uninvestigated regime.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 701322 (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788245
Show Author Affiliations
Jörg-Uwe Pott, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
Julien Woillez, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Peter L. Wizinowich, W. M. Keck Observatory (United States)
Andreas Eckart, I. Physikalisches Institut (Germany)
Andreas Glindemann, European Southern Observatory (Germany)
Andrea M. Ghez, Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States)
James R. Graham, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7013:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry
Markus Schöller; William C. Danchi; Françoise Delplancke, Editor(s)

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