News 2005

05.12.09 A virtual tour of the Keck Interferometer is available through the PlanetQuest website. This includes panoramas of the beamcombining lab situated between the telescopes.
05.12.09 Recent progress with AMBER was described in the 3 December 2006 issue of New Scientist. Follow the links for this and other press releases listed on the AMBER Homepage.
05.12.08 ESO has issed a Call Phase-A Proposals for 2nd generation VLTI instruments. Proposals should be submitted by January 30, 2006.
05.11.28 The AMBER webpage carries links to press releases related to VLTI-AMBER observations of the close environment of young and old stars. In particular see the ESO Press Release Sharp Vision Reveals Intimacy of Stars.
05.11.08 Explore the Keck Observatory with a 360 degree Virtual Tour at the PlanetQuest website.
05.11.08 Scientific Data from VINCI Commissioning are available through the ESO Science Archive. This now includes data release of October 2005.
05.10.31 The Large Binocular Telescope has released first-light images taken on 12 October 2005.
05.10.14 The call for 2006 Michelson Fellowships has been withdrawn. Due to budget constraints there will be no new Michelson Fellows in 2006. (Existing Fellows will continue to be funded and new Fellowships will be offered for 2007.)
05.10.07 The January 2006 meeting of the American Astronomical Society will include a Special Session on Ground Based Optical Interferometry in support of efforts in the US towards the design of the next generation of instruments and facilities. Also see the announcement of related activities, posted on the OLBIN Email Forum.
05.10.04 The 2006 Henri Poincare Fellowships at the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur have been announced. The deadline for application is 2 January 2006.
05.10.04 The August 2005 issue of Astronomische Nachrichten carries a special section devoted to papers onNIR/Optical Interferometry from the 78th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft.
05.09.30 The Keck Interferometer has achieved a 100:1 null with observations of Vega and two other stars during the observing run in August 2005. See the JPL Press Release NASA Takes Giant Step Toward Finding Earth-Like Planets.
05.09.27 EADS Astrium has completed tests on the primary mirror for the Herschel space telescope. The 3.5-m diameter mirror is fabricated from silicon carbide and is the largest space telescope fabricated to date. The mirrors for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer and Darwin would be approximately the same size and fabricated out of the very same material or possibly the Berylium mirror technology developed for JWST. See the press release for Herschel EADS Astrium completes integration of world's largest space telescope. Also see the Herschel website.
05.09.20 Prisma, an autonomous rendezvous an docking mission, is being developed by the Swedish Space Corporation with the Swedish National Space Board as main financer, in cooperation with Germany, France and Denmark. The launch of Prisma is scheduled for 2008. As noted in the document Prisma - the Rendezvous Robots (PDF), one of the objectives of Prisma is a flight qualification test of a radio frequency metrology formation flying package intended for ESA's Darwin project. Alcatel Space, France, is responsible for this experiment with support from the French space agency CNES. Also see Sveriges Prisma bryter väg för Darwin (in Swedish).
05.09.19 Closure phase measurements were obtained on 14 September 2005 at the CHARA Array using the Michigan Infrared Combiner (MIRC). For details see the description of first fringes with MIRC, first closure phase, and first 4-telescope fringes.
05.09.19 The PhD thesis by Tijl Verhoelst, entitled "Evolved stars: a combined view from interferometry and spectroscopy" is avalaible at its download site.
05.09.19 Several newly released documents relating to AMBER, the mid-infrared imaging beam combiner of the VLTI, are now available at the AMBER website. This includes the previously released details of theGuaranteed Time Observation programme.
05.09.08 The CHARA Array: Year One Science Review, edited by Theo ten Brummelaar and Harold A. McAlister, is available as the proceedings of the CHARA science meeting held at the Observatoire de Paris, 7-11 February 2005. Science reviews of individual investigations are presented.
05.09.01 The Call for Proposals for the ESO telescopes is now open for period 77, 1 April 2006 - 30 September 2006. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2005 (12:00 noon, Central European Summer Time).
05.09.01 AMBER Commissioning data (MWC 297) are now available. MIDI Science Demonstration data (Post-AGB Stars: SX Cen and HD 52961) are also available.
05.08.29 The call for papers for the 2006 SPIE Conference on Interferometry is now available. The conference will be held during the SPIE Advanced Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Orlando Floriday, 24-31 May 2006. Abstracts are due 7 November 2005.
05.08.29 Edition 34 of the SIM Newsletter is available. The newsletter describes the completion of the final technology milestones that needed to be completed prior to SIM entering Phase C/D - wherein the hardware is built that will actually be launched.
05.08.17 Recent progress with OHANA is described by Guy Perrin (Obs. Paris) in his lecture on the occasion of his being awarded the Prix HP Jeune Chercheur de la SF2A. Slides from his presentation in PowerPoint (16 MB) and PDF (1.5 MB) are available. 2.2 micron single-mode fiber optics were used to collect light at each of the two Keck telescopes and relay it to a central beam combiner. Fringes were obtained on the star 107 Herculis (K=4.6, 0.4 mas diameter) at 12:26 am on 18 June 2005. [Editor's note: La Société Française d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (SF2A) awarded the Prix Jeune Chercheur in 2003 to Fabien Malbet (LAOG, Grenoble).]
05.08.10 Peter Tuthill (University of Sydney) has been awarded a Eureka Award by the Australian Museum for his research in aperture masking interferometry. He was a joint winnner in the Scientific Research Catagory. The People's Choice award (with public voting) was awarded to another entry.
05.08.05 NASA has issued its Record of Decision concerning the Keck Outrigger Telescopes. See the Outrigger Telescopes Project webpage for details.
05.08.05 Applications are invited for a postdoctoral or Ph.D. position in the Infrared Interferometry Group of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn. Review of applications will begin on 1 Sep 2005 and continue until the position is filled. See notice 21871 in the August AAS Job Register.
05.08.05 Applications for the 2006 Michelson Fellowships are now being accepted by the Michelson Science Center. For details see the MSC Michelson Fellowships webpages.
05.07.29 A spanish-language version of the PlanetQuest website has now been released. The spanish version includes translations of selected pages from the PlanetQuest site and will feature monthly news stories in spanish. PlanetQuest describes NASA's planet finding missions, which include the Keck Interferometer, SIM, and TPF-I.
05.07.27 The VLTI MIDI science demonstration data are now available through the ESO Science Archive Facility.
05.07.27 Photographs of work at the VLTI on the AMBER instrument are available through the AMBER website. The photos include screenshots and two photos of the Auxilliary telescopes.
05.06.15 The CNES, the French Aerospace Agency, is considering several missions for a Phase A design study. The selection would occur in October 2005. Amongst the candidate missions is Pegase, a two-element formation flying interferometer. The work is being funded independently of the European Space Agency. For related reading, have a look at the article from 2004 in VisionONERA Emergence d'un programme commun Cnes/Onera and the current status of the ESSAIM (swarm) mission. You might useful here.
05.06.13 The first astrophysical results from AMBER, the VLTI near-infrared imaging beam combiner, are reported in an article at the AMBER website.
05.06.02 The LINC-NIRVANA website has been updated.
05.06.02 Interactive models of SIM, TPF-I, and TPF-C are available through the PlanetQuest website's multimedia gallery.
05.05.31 The first primary mirror of the large binocular telescope was aluminized in May. See the photos from May 10th, or see a live view from an LBT webcam.
05.05.31 The Michelson Science Center and the Keck Interferometer Project announce the first publicly available science data from the Keck Interferometer. Data on over 45 science targets, ranging from nearby main sequence stars and young stellar objects to active galactic nuclei, are available, along with their calibrators. The list of sources is given, and access to the database is available by self-registration. For related information see the KI Support Page.
05.05.20 Dr. Richard Q. Twiss, well known collaborator of Prof. Robert Hanbury Brown and pioneer of stellar interferometry, passed away 20 May 2005. See the email from William Tango.
05.05.20 A propos of nothing in particular, have a look at the rules of Calvin Ball.
05.05.19 Ongoing work on Darwin is described under ESA's General Studies Programme. There are two planned activities for Darwin in this context listed as Inspirational. The first is a Darwin system assessment study. The second is a Darwin architectural consolidation study.
05.05.05 The award for outstanding young research scientist was awarded this year by the Société Française d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (SF2A) to Guy Perrin (Observatoire de Paris-Meudon). The award will be presented by Francoise Combes (member of the French Academy of Sciences) on 28 June in Strasbourg on the occasion of the Semaine de l'Astrophysique Francaise.
05.04.14 The March 2005 issue of the ESO Messenger contains the article "Observing with the VLT Interferometer" with links to useful references for MIDI and AMBER. Of particular interest is the description of data reduction software for MIDI, available through NEVEC, MPIA, and also collected and compiled by Christian Hummel.
05.04.14 The current status of the Space Interferometry Mission is described in the 28 March 2005 SIM Newsletter.
05.04.14 A few new job postings have appeared. The Magdalena Ridge Observatory has advertised the positions ofProject Manager and Program Director. The Michelson Science Center has an opening for a Staff Scientistto be responsible for the development of the MSC Tool Set.
05.03.16 The call for proposals for the ESO Period 76 observing (October 2005 to March 2006) includes the VLTI instrument AMBER. See the AMBER website and the ESO Proposal Preparation webpage for further information. Proposals are due 1 April 2005.
05.03.14 The European Southern Observatory has issued the press release VLTI First Fringes with Two Auxiliary Telescopes at Paranal. The press release notes that both Auxiliary Telescopes will be offered from October 1, 2005 to the community of astronomers for routine observations, together with the MIDI instrument. Fringes were obtained with both VINCI and MIDI in early February.
05.03.08 The Weather Web and Trailer Cam at the CHARA Array are available courtesy of Theo ten Brummelaar and Dave Berger.
05.03.08 The winners of the 2005 Michelson Postdoctoral Fellowships have been announced. Included amongst these is Michael Ireland, recently with SUSI, who will work on interferometric polarimetry at Caltech.
05.03.08 The web pages of the Jean-Marie Mariotti Center have been substantially revised.
05.03.01 The Fizeau Exchange Visitors Program, sponsored by the European Interferometry Initiative for Astronomy, is accepting applications through 15 March 2005.
05.03.01 The 2005 ESO Studentship Program is now open for applications.
05.03.01 The ESO call for proposals for Period 76 is now open. Period 76 runs from 1 October 2005 to 31 March 2006. The MIDI Webpage has been revised in support of this round of proposals. Deadline for submission is 1 April 2005.
05.02.16 A happy snap of the CHARA/Meudon group on the roof of the Paris Observatory, courtesy of Theo ten Brummelaar and Vincent Coude du Foresto. The photo was taken at the time of the first CHARA science meeting, held 7-11 February 2005 in Paris. The photo includes: Antoine Merand, Jason Aufdenberg, Bill Bagnuolo, Olivier Absil, Ellyn Baines, Dave Berger, Doug Gies, Chris Farrington, Nils Turner, Pierre Kervella, John Monnier, Hal McAlister, Steve Ridgway, Lazlo Sturmann, Judit Sturmann, Chad Ogden, Theo ten Brummelaar, Sandy Land, Gerard van Belle, and David Ciardi.
05.02.15 The first winter-over has begun at Dome C. See the diary (in French) by Karim Agabi.
05.02.11 Photos from the Christmas 2005 Guaranteed Time Observations with AMBER at the VLTI have been posted at the AMBER Website.
05.02.04 Applications for the 2005 Michelson Summer Workshop "Discovering New Worlds Through Astrometry" are now open. Applications are due by 4 March 2005. Click here to apply.
05.01.28 Wesley Traub has accepted the position of Chief Scientist of NASA's Navigator Program as well as the position of Project Scientist for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C). He plans to start full-time at JPL sometime in late April, spending one week per month at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics working on TPF-related science, including IOTA and the Keck Nuller project.
05.01.28 The JPL Publication General Astrophysics and Comparative Planetology with the Terrestrial Planet Finder Missions is now available. The document contains descriptions of possible astrophysical programs over and above the search for Earth-like planets. It was edited by Marc Kuchner based on material presented at a workshop he hosted in Princeton in April 2004.
05.01.24 The National Science Foundation press release Bullet Star Shines 350 Brighter than the Sun describes recent measurements of Regulus by the CHARA Array.
05.01.18 The first scientific results from the CHARA Array have been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. The observations describe the fast rotator Regulus. Preprint available on astro-ph.
05.01.18 The next deadline for applications to the Fizeau Exchange Visitors Program, sponsored by the European Interferometry Initiative, is 15 March 2005.
05.01.18 The ESSAIM formation flying (radio) interferometer was launched on December 18, 2004. For a more detailed description, see the go-Ariane website. Also see the article from "Le Point" Les Grandes Oreilles de la France from 2001.
05.01.05 The new Science Working Group for the Terrestrial Planet Finder Interferometer has been announced.
05.01.03 A small workshop entitled "The Pulsation of Cepheids: Theory and Observation" will be held February 2-4 at the Paris Observatory. Attendance will be limited to about 30 persons, mostly invited speakers. The goal of the workshop is to foster interaction between theoreticians and interferometrists who mesure their radii, pulsation and other measurables. For further information contact Vincent Coude du Foresto (vincent.forestoexternal image
05.01.03 The ASHRA is holding a one-day workshop on 28 February 2005 entitled "du VLTI au VLTI-2" at the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in Nice. The goal of the workshop is to prepare French proposals to be presented at the ESO/ JRA4 EII colloquium on second-generation VLTI instrumentation in April 2005. For further information contact Denis Mourard (denis.mourardexternal image with the subject heading "AtelierVLTI2".
05.01.03 Presentations from the workshop 30 Years Ago: I2T First Fringes, held at the Observatoire de Nice (18-19 November 2004) are now available courtesy of Alain Blazit.