Interferometric capability for the Magellan Project

Nathaniel P. Carleton, Wesley A. Traub, James Roger P. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Magellan Project is building two 6.5-m telescopes, 60 m apart, at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. There are on-going plans to combine the beams of the two main telescopes, and of smaller auxiliary telescopes, for interferometric measurements. In this paper we consider the array of auxiliary telescopes as a stand-alone instrument, recognizing that it will operate as such for some large fraction of the time. Our interest is sharpened by the availability of six 1.8-m optical systems, retired from the Smithsonian-Arizona Multiple-Mirror Telescope in preparation for the installation of a single-mirror 6.5-m system. We have completed a design for a 1.8-m telescope, in which the MMT components are supported on a proven tripod mount. The optics-support uses steel for stiffness, and low-thermal- expansion rods for passive stability. This array will be a powerful tool for the investigation of stellar limb darkening, surface features, and changes of diameter in pulsations, as well as dust disks, shells, and binary companions. The 1.8-m telescopes on good sites such as Magellan's should be able to operate at full aperture for interferometry at 2.2μm. They should therefore be able to reach to magnitude K = 10 or so, and thus to cover substantial samples of both main-sequence and pre-main- sequence stars, and of fully evolved stars as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-735
Number of pages3
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventAstronomical Interferometry - Kona, HI, United States
Duration: Mar 20 1998Mar 20 1998


  • High-resolution
  • Infrared
  • Interferometry
  • Telescopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Interferometric capability for the Magellan Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this