S E M I N A R IDepartament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Universitat de València
Optical Interferometry: Astronomical Application
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, EE.UU
Seminari del departament d'Astronomia i Astrofísca
Dijous 19 juny 2008
This talk surveys the astrophysical topics to which the newly developing optical/IR interferometric techniques can be applied. A brief historical review and summary of past and current interferometers in covered. For a couple decades the poor sensitivity of optical interferometry has limited its application mainly to the study of bright stars, principally close multiple star systems and stars with extended envelopes. Especially in the cooler stars with extended envelopes, line blanketing by the numerous molecules means that spectroscopic measurements are insufficient to determine effective temperatures and direct measurements of the photospheric size are needed to test stellar models. Recently the development of interferometric arrays with large apertures up to 10 m with adaptive optics have dramatically increased the sensitivity of these arrays, allowing a wider range of astrophysical topics including AGNs, to be studied. Recent results on AGNs from the ESO MIDI/VLTI interferometer are discussed.