Interferometry: The tool to study giant, supergiant and Mira stars
Author: Perrin, G.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 286, Numbers 1-2, 2003 , pp. 197-212(16)
Late-type giant stars have been traditional targets for infrared interferometers. They are bright and big and are therefore easy targets to resolve and to detect. Considerable progress has been and is being made on the spatial structure of these objects thanks to existing interferometers. Beyond the classical measurement of their diameters, pulsations have been directly detected, spatial intensity distributions are more and more understood and more important, consistent scenarios for both spectroscopic and interferometric measurements are on the verge to be validated. All this has been possible with prototype instruments having a small number of baselines and very limited spectral capabilities. AMBER and MIDI will surely open a new era with high spectral resolution, high efficiency and imaging capabilities. This is not an exhaustive review of all the work done in the field but rather a presentation of the context. A recent review of Mira star observations with interferometers was recently written (Scholz, 2003). A brief science case is first introduced in this paper. Achievements with high angular resolution single-telescope techniques are presented. The contributions of optical and infrared interferometers are then explained. Eventually, some hints about the possible progress with VLTI are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: LESIA, UMR 8109, Observatoire de Paris, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
Publication date: 2003-01-01