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28 July 2008 Keck Interferometer nuller update
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The Keck Interferometer combines the two 10 m Keck telescopes as a long baseline interferometer, funded by NASA, as a joint development among the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the W. M. Keck Observatory, and the Michelson Science Center. Since 2004, it has offered an H- and K-band fringe visibility mode through the Keck TAC process. Recently this mode has been upgraded with the addition of a grism for higher spectral resolution. The 10 um nulling mode, for which first nulling data were collected in 2005, completed the bulk of its engineering development in 2007. At the end of 2007, three teams were chosen in response to a nuller key science call to perform a survey of nearby stars for exozodiacal dust. This key science observation program began in Feb. 2008. Under NSF funding, Keck Observatory is leading development of ASTRA, a project to add dual-star capability for high sensitivity observations and dual-star astrometry. We review recent activity at the Keck Interferometer, with an emphasis on the nuller development.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.


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