26 February 2003 Measuring stellar proper motions in crowded fields with SIM
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Abstract
Astrometry in crowded fields is an important component of the science program of the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). Resolving multiple point sources within the SIM beam, or imaging of complicated, extended source structures requires a (large) number of interferometer baselines. As the spacecraft design keeps evolving, the impact on various key projects needs to be studied. In this paper, we discuss the capabilities of the latest SIM design (with only two baselines available for science measurements) for measuring stellar proper motions in crowded fields. Using the nucleus of the Andromeda Galaxy (M 31) as a case study, we quantify the roll angle increment needed to enable such measurements with the reduced SIM baseline set. In particular, we demonstrate that SIM can measure Keplerian motion of luminous stars around the 300 million solar mass black hole in M 31, provided that the spacecraft roll angle can be chosen in increments of around 4 degrees or smaller.
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Torsten Boker, Torsten Boker, Ronald J. Allen, Ronald J. Allen, Jayadev K. Rajagopal, Jayadev K. Rajagopal, Roeland P. van der Marel, Roeland P. van der Marel, } "Measuring stellar proper motions in crowded fields with SIM", Proc. SPIE 4852, Interferometry in Space, (26 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460716; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.460716
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