Physics Colloquium: Astronomy at Highest Angular Resolution - Adaptive Optics, Interferometry and Black Holes
Dr. Frank Eisenhauer, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany
The last 25 years have seen wonderful times in high angular resolution, optical/infrared ground-based astronomy: active optics enabled ever larger telescopes, adaptive optics now routinely remove the image blur from the turbulent earth atmosphere, and integral field spectroscopy adds the third, spectral dimension to highest resolution imaging. And most recently, optical/infrared interferometry brought yet another revolution by synthesizing a telescope with an equivalent diameter of a hundred meter and more. We will describe the development and advances in the field, and especially the pioneering GRAVITY instrument. Our presentation takes us from exoplanets all the way to distant quasars, with special focus on the Galactic Centre and tests of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and the massive black hole paradigm. The GRAVITY+ project will soon boost optical interferometry to the next level, opening up the extragalactic sky for milli-arcsecond resolution interferometric imaging, and providing ever higher contrast for the observation of exoplanets.
Event Organizer: Prof. Amiel Sternberg