24 July 1998 Interferometric capability for the Magellan Project
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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.
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Nathaniel P. Carleton, Nathaniel P. Carleton, Wesley A. Traub, Wesley A. Traub, James Roger P. Angel, James Roger P. Angel, "Interferometric capability for the Magellan Project", Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.317139; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.317139

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