Resolving the spatial structure of transient events provides insights into their physical nature and origin. Recent observations using long baseline optical/infrared interferometry have revealed the size, shape, and angular expansion of bright novae within a few days after their outbursts. This has implications for understanding the timescale for the development of asymmetric features in novae ejecta. Additionally, combining spectroscopic measurements of the expansion velocity with the angular expansion rate provides a way to measure a geometric distance to the nova. In this paper, I provide a review of interferometric observations of novae, with a focus on recent results on the expansion and spatial structure of nova V339 Del in 2013. I also discuss other promising applications of interferometry to transient sources, such as measuring the image size and centroid displacements to measure planetary masses in gravitational microlensing events. Given the timescales of transient events, it is critical for interferometric arrays to respond rapidly to targets of opportunity in order to optimize the instrumental sensitivity and baselines required to resolve the source while its brightness and size change over time.
Gail H. Schaefer,
"Imaging transient events at high angular resolution", Proc. SPIE 9907, Optical and Infrared Interferometry and Imaging V, 990714 (4 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2234372; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2234372