Colloquium - John Monnier (University of Michigan) - Imaging the Surfaces of Stars

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John Monnier
September 1, 2015
4:00PM - 5:00PM
Location
1080 Physics Research Building - Smith Seminar Room - reception at 3:45pm in the Atrium

Date Range
Add to Calendar 2015-09-01 16:00:00 2015-09-01 17:00:00 Colloquium - John Monnier (University of Michigan) - Imaging the Surfaces of Stars

Under even the best atmospheric conditions, telescope diffraction fundamentally limits the angular resolution for astronomical imaging. Using interferometry, we can coherently combine light from widely-separated telescopes to overcome the single-telescope diffraction limit to boost our imaging resolution by orders of magnitude. I will review recent technical and scientific breakthroughs made possible by the Michigan Infrared Combiner of the CHARA Array on Mt. Wilson, CA, with baselines of 330 meters allowing near-infrared imaging with sub-milli-arcsecond resolution. I will present the first resolved images of main sequence stars besides the Sun, focusing on the oblate and gravity-darkened photospheres of rapidly rotating stars.  We can now also resolve the interacting components of close binary stars for the first time, image magnetic spots on active stars, and watch novae explode in realtime.  Taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in infrared detectors, we plan to image the inner regions of protoplanetary disks soon.

 

1080 Physics Research Building - Smith Seminar Room - reception at 3:45pm in the Atrium Department of Physics physics@osu.edu America/New_York public
Description

Under even the best atmospheric conditions, telescope diffraction fundamentally limits the angular resolution for astronomical imaging. Using interferometry, we can coherently combine light from widely-separated telescopes to overcome the single-telescope diffraction limit to boost our imaging resolution by orders of magnitude. I will review recent technical and scientific breakthroughs made possible by the Michigan Infrared Combiner of the CHARA Array on Mt. Wilson, CA, with baselines of 330 meters allowing near-infrared imaging with sub-milli-arcsecond resolution. I will present the first resolved images of main sequence stars besides the Sun, focusing on the oblate and gravity-darkened photospheres of rapidly rotating stars.  We can now also resolve the interacting components of close binary stars for the first time, image magnetic spots on active stars, and watch novae explode in realtime.  Taking advantage of recent breakthroughs in infrared detectors, we plan to image the inner regions of protoplanetary disks soon.