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24 July 1998 Science with the Space Interferometry Mission
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Abstract
The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) will be NASA's first space-based optical interferometer. SIM will produce a wealth of new astronomical data and serve as a technology pathfinder for future astrophysics missions. The SIM architecture uses a 10-m Michelson interferometer in Earth- trailing solar orbit to provide 4 microarcsecond precision absolute position measurements of stars down to 20 magnitude. The corresponding parallax accuracy allows distance measurements to 10 percent accuracy on the far side of the Galaxy. With high-precision proper motions derived during its 5-year lifetime, SIM will address a variety of science questions relating to the formation and dynamics of our Galaxy. Using aperture synthesis, SIM will image in the visible waveband to a resolution of 10 milliarcsec, and will demonstrate interferometric nulling with suppression of the on-axis starlight to a level of 10-4. In this paper we present selected topics from the SIM science program focusing on some specific astronomical questions to be addressed.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Stephen C. Unwin, Slava G. Turyshev, and Michael Shao "Science with the Space Interferometry Mission", Proc. SPIE 3350, Astronomical Interferometry, (24 July 1998); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.317144
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