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21 July 2010 Science with the Keck Interferometer ASTRA program
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The ASTrometric and phase-Referenced Astronomy (ASTRA) project will provide phase referencing and astrometric observations at the Keck Interferometer, leading to enhanced sensitivity and the ability to monitor orbits at an accuracy level of 30-100 microarcseconds. Here we discuss recent scientific results from ASTRA, and describe new scientific programs that will begin in 2010-2011. We begin with results from the "self phase referencing" (SPR) mode of ASTRA, which uses continuum light to correct atmospheric phase variations and produce a phase-stabilized channel for spectroscopy. We have observed a number of protoplanetary disks using SPR and a grism providing a spectral dispersion of ~ 2000. In our data we spatially resolve emission from dust as well as gas. Hydrogen line emission is spectrally resolved, allowing differential phase measurements across the emission line that constrain the relative centroids of different velocity components at the 10 microarcsecond level. In the upcoming year, we will begin dual-field phase referencing (DFPR) measurements of the Galactic Center and a number of exoplanet systems. These observations will, in part, serve as precursors to astrometric monitoring of stellar orbits in the Galactic Center and stellar wobbles of exoplanet host stars. We describe the design of several scientific investigations capitalizing on the upcoming phase-referencing and astrometric capabilities of ASTRA.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. A. Eisner, R. Akeson, M. Colavita, A. Ghez, J. Graham, L. Hillenbrand, R. Millan-Gabet, J. D. Monnier, J. U. Pott, S. Ragland, P. Wizinowich, and J. Woillez "Science with the Keck Interferometer ASTRA program", Proc. SPIE 7734, Optical and Infrared Interferometry II, 773411 (21 July 2010);

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