28 July 2008 First spectro-interferometry on galactic center sources in the infrared: results and science prospects at the sensitivity limit of current larger aperture arrays
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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.
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Jörg-Uwe Pott, Julien Woillez, Peter L. Wizinowich, Andreas Eckart, Andreas Glindemann, Andrea M. Ghez, James R. Graham, "First spectro-interferometry on galactic center sources in the infrared: results and science prospects at the sensitivity limit of current larger aperture arrays", Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 701322 (28 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.788245; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.788245
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