News 2006

06.12.13 Dr Michael Ireland has been awarded the 2006 Charlene Heisler Prize for the best PhD thesis in Astronomy, or a closely related field, accepted by any Australian university in 2005. Michael completed his PhD research on the SUSI interferometer supervised by Peter Tuthill. The prize was awarded by the Australian Astronomical Association: The citation particularly notes the breadth and innovative quality of his thesis work. Michael is presently in Pasadena on a Michelson fellow at Caltech: His thesis can be downoladed from his homepage. (Courtesy of Peter Tuthill.)
06.12.13 NASA is investigating the possibility of having the four Keck Outrigger Telescopes installed as part of the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer. This depends on funding becoming available for installation and maintenance through sources within the Navy. It would then allow a narrow-angle astrometry program in the northern hemisphere, as originally envisaged at the Keck Observatory.
06.12.12 ESA has decided to cease activities in support of GENIE, the ground-based nulling interferometer for the VLTI. (Courtesy of Nicola Rando, ESA)
06.11.22 A Google Maps view of the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer is available courtesy of OLBIN. Also have a look at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (Courtesy of Markus Schoeller). Also the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope.
06.11.21 The American Museum of Natural History has produced an interferometry Science Bulletin entitled "Interferometry: Sizing Up the Stars" featuring the CHARA Array and interviews with Harold McAlister, Theo ten Brummelaar, and Gerard van Belle. (Works well with Internet Explorer - Editor.)
06.11.21 The webpages of IAU Commission 54 on Optical & Infrared Interferometry are now available through this site at and are linked to through the webpages of the IAU.
06.11.02 OHANA seems to be far ahead of schedule according to the Physics Today article Build astronomical observatories on the Moon?.
06.10.30 Applications are invited for a post-doctoral position at Paris Observatory / Laboratoire d'Etudes Spatiales et d'Instrumentation en Astrophysique (Meudon, France) in the framework of the Partnership on High Angular resolution on Ground or in Space (PHASE, in French) between research institutes of the Paris area. Applications are due by 31 December 2006. For details see the announcement on the OLBIN email server.
06.10.30 New Mexico Tech/Magdalena Ridge Observatory is pleased to release (October 27, 2006) the Request for Proposals (RFP) for six unit telescope mounts and associated controls. Due date of the RFP is December 18, 2006. (Courtesy of Erik Bakker.)
06.10.30 A news item from describes Alcatel's role in the Prisma formation flying mission. formation flying mission.
06.10.21 The VEGA (Visible spEctroGraph and polArimeter) project will move instrumentation from the GI2T to the CHARA Array on Mount Wilson. The GI2T ceased operations in 2006. Components from the REGAIN spectrometer from the GI2T will be installed at CHARA. Photos of recent events and preparations are available at the VEGA webpage. Previous photos of REGAIN taken by the editor in 2001 are available atPhotos 2 and Photos 3.
06.09.29 The European Southern Observatory has issued the press release To Be or Not to Be: Is It All About Spinning? describing AMBER measurements of the Be star Alpha Arae.
06.09.14 In September the general contractor for the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer broke ground at the interferometer site. For further details see the Status Update page at the MRO website.
06.09.14 The VLTI imaging beam combiner AMBER is being offered for observing in Period 79 using three Auxilliary Telescopes. See the AMBER website for details.
06.09.05 On 13 August 2006 the IAU Executive Council voted unanimously for the proposal to create a Commission on Optical/Infrared Interferometry. The new commission is now a fact. Details to follow. (Courtesy of Chris Sterken, President of IAU Division IX, 2003-2006)
06.09.05 The Keck Interferometer Nuller is available for observing proposals on a shared-risk basis. For details see the current instrument description and the NASA Keck Time Solicitation. Proposals are due 19 September 2006 (6pm PST).
06.09.05 The call for proposals has now been issued for Telescope time for ESO telescopes in Period 79. Proposals are due 29 September 2006 (12:00 noon, Central European Summer Time).
06.09.05 The Science Program for NASA's Astronomy and Physics Division is now available. This document was completed in November 2005 and represents the combined roadmaps for what was NASA Origins andStructure and Evolution of the Universe themes.
06.08.05 The 2007 call for Michelson Fellows is now open. Applications are due 2 November 2006. See theannouncement at the Michelson Science Center website.
06.08.05 The presentations from the 2006 Michelson Summer Workshop are now available.
06.07.26 The W.M. Keck Observatory has issued the press release Three-telescope interferometer shows patchy red giants are common fate of stars like Sun.
06.07.20 The NASA Administrator's Remarks to the NASA Advisory Council Science Subcommittees on July 6th, containing comments concerning SOFIA and SIM, are now available at the NASA website. Also available is a presentation by Chas Beichman given in response at the same meeting.
06.07.14 The Space News article "SIM to Bear Costs of Resurrecting SOFIA" describes the possibilily that most of the projected funding for SIM may instead be used to fund SOFIA, reducing SIM from its status as a mission in development to a technology development program - halting its entry to Phase C/D. Thetechnology milestones that SIM has accomplished to date are described at the SIM website.
06.06.26 The book Introduction to Optical Stellar Interferometry by A. Labeyrie, S. G. Lipson and P. Nisenson (Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-82872-4 or 978-0-521-82872-7) was published on 29 June 2006.
06.06.26 Details of an NOAO Workshop on Future Directions for Interferometry are now available. The workshop will be held in Tucson Arizona, Nov 13-15, 2006.
06.06.16 Preprints of SPIE papers from Conference 6268 are available from MROI.
06.06.08 The Grand Interferometre a 2 Telescopes (GI2T) will cease observations by August 2006. Plans are now ongoing to move its beam-combiner (REGAIN) to the CHARA Array for operations to begin in 2007. The GI2T has been in operation for 20 years, produced 33 PhDs, 35 scientific papers and over 100 proceedings article.
06.06.08 The winners of the 2006 Interferometry Imaging Beauty Contest were Fabien Baron and John Young (University of Cambridge) for their entry BSMEM. The presentation made at the SPIE in Orlando is now available. Further information is available at the Beauty Contest Website.
06.05.03 There are several openings at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory. For details see the MRO Employment webpage.
06.05.03 The first joint ARENA & OPTICON JRA4 Workshop on High Angular Resolution from Dome C will be held at the Maison du Séminaire, Nice, France 10-12 May, 2006.
06.03.22 The W.M. Keck Observatory is advertising an Interferometry Research Internship. The closing date for applications is March 27, 2006.
06.03.15 The President of Division IX of the IAU, Chris Sterken, would like to create an IAU Commission on Optical/IR Interferometry. This would only happen if there were sufficient support from the interferometry community. See comments at the OLBIN Forum.
06.03.15 The announcement for the 2006 Ecole Astronomique de Porquerolles entitled Un panorama général des techniques et des objectifs scientifiques de la Haute Résolution Angulaire Optique has been issued. The school will take place 17-23 Septembre 2006. This school is primarily for engineers interested in widening their perspectives in this field but will also be available for scientists and graduate students, if funding allows.
06.03.15 The 2007 NASA budget has received much comment over the past month. Included in the budget is the proposal to delay SIM until 2015, to stop funding the development of the TPF missions, and to provide no funding for the Keck Outrigger telescopes. Discussions related to the budget are being reported weekly in the popular press. Use any of the above keywords and have a look through your favourite search engine.
06.03.13 Eric Aristidi (University of Nice) has started his winter-over at Dome C. Follow his biligual French/EnglishJournal. There is also a group photo. I trust the group in the red suits are the engineering team. (Beam me up!)
06.03.09 The call for VLT Proposals is now open for Period 78. Proposals are due 31 March 2006, 12:00 noon, Central European Summer Time.
06.03.02 The book An Introduction to Optical Stellar Interferometry by Antoine Labeyrie, Stephen G. Lipson and Peter Nisenson is scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press in June 2006.
06.02.27 Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at Cerro Paranal, Chile, and the CHARA Interferometer at Mount Wilson, California, a team of French and North American astronomers has discovered envelopes around three Cepheids, including the Pole star. See the ESO press release for further information and the papers by Pierre Kervella et al. and a forthcoming paper by Antoine Merand et al.
06.02.27 A group photo is available from the CHARA science meeting, which took place last week in Tucson.
06.02.27 Recent progress with the CARLINA Hypertelescope is described by Julien Dejonghe.
06.02.17 The Program for the SPIE Conference on Advanced Telescopes and Instrumentation has been released. Details of conference 6268 Advances in Stellar Interferometry can be found beginning on page 39 of the program.
06.02.17 News of the results of the 3rd AMBER commissioning run are available at the AMBER website. This includes a movie of H and K fringes.
06.02.09 The Ph.D. thesis by Antoine Merand, entitled Etude à haute résolution spatiale des Céphéides, is now available. The thesis was defended 14 December 2005. The work includes observations of Cepheid variables with the FLUOR beam combiner at the CHARA Array and observations with VINCI and MIDI at the VLTI.
06.02.09 The Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Porto (CAUP) invites applications for a post-doctoral position in optical interferometry related to the VITRUV beam combiner proposed as a second generation instrument for the VLTI. See the announcement at the CAUP website. Applications will be received from 1 February to 5 March 2006.
06.02.09 The 2007 NASA Budget lists the operating plan for 2006 and the proposed budget for 2007, including schedules and plans for SIM, TPF, and the Keck Interferometer. See text beginning at page 80 (SAE SMD-37). The 2006 Financial Year (FY) numbers are effectively immediately. The FY2007 numbers are a prediction by NASA, subject to revision, and ultimately not put into effect until February 2007 at the time of the release of the FY2008 budget.
06.02.08 NASA Keck Time Soliciation: Applications for NASA's 1/6 share of Keck observing time for the 2006B Observing Semester are now being accepted, including Keck Interferometer proposals for shared-risknulling science. The application deadline is March 3, 2006.
06.02.06 Both mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope are now aluminized. See the photographs from January 2006. The schedule currently predicts first fringes in July 2008.
06.02.06 The Keck Interferometer has advertised for Postdoctoral Research position. See details at the WMKO Jobs Page.
06.02.06 AMBER is having its third commissioning run at the VLTI 2-12 February. Follow the progress with Daily commissioning reports.
06.01.27 The Keck Interferometer Support Page at the Michelson Science Center now includes details of the nulling mode instrument sensitivity.
06.01.20 Listings of recent results from the CHARA Array are described at the CHARA Website. This includes recent studies of Vega by Jason Aufdenberg and the six (not seven) M dwarfs studied by David Berger. See the Sky and Telescope article Vega Mystery Solved; Red Dwarf Mystery Grows.
06.01.20 The W.M. Keck Observatory has issued a press release describing recent and future work with the 'OHANA project.
06.01.20 A Summer School on Observation and Data Reduction with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer is being planned for 4-16 June 2006 in Goutelas, France.
06.01.13 This week's issue of Science Magazine contains the article Interferometric coupling of the Keck telescopes with single-mode fibers by G. Perrin, J. Woillez, O. Lai, J. Guérin, et al. of the OHANA Collaboration. The article appears in Science 311, no. 5758, page 194.
06.01.11 The Ph.D. thesis Reconstruction d'images astronomiques en interferometrie optique by Serge Meimon (ONERA, France) is now available. The thesis discusses image reconstruction techniques applicable to AMBER, and a prototype version of the method yielded a second place entry in the 2004 Imaging Beauty Contest.
06.01.05 Observations with the IOTA interferometer will cease in July 2006. The facility will then be closed. For more information, see the email from Wesley Traub, dated 1 January 2006.
06.01.04 The Jean-Marie Mariotti Center is planning two interferometry schools in France in 2006. One in Porquerolles for the French community, and one in Goutelas for the European Community. For further information see the JMMC Website.
06.01.03 The PlanetQuest website now features an interview with Robert Ligon, an engineer with the Keck Interferometer.