November 25 seminar: Long-Baseline Optical Interferometry

in Seminars
December 2nd, 2013

Astrophysics Seminar Series

Directly Determined Linear Radii, Effective Temperatures, and Shapes of Stars from Long-Baseline Optical Interferometry

Gerard van Belle
Lowell Observatory

Monday, November 25, 2013
Refreshments at 3:15pm in CAS 500
Talk begins at 3:30pm in CAS 502


A brief introduction to the concepts of long-baseline optical interferometry (LBI) will be presented, followed by a review of fundamental stellar parameters as directly determined using LBI.  Special attention will be paid to the progression of precision over the years of the observables of linear radius and effective temperature, with the current state-of-the-art measures approaching sub-percent levels for hundreds of stars (and being limited primarily by the ancillary data products of distance and bolometric flux, not measured angular size).  Discussion will also be presented on the diminishing meaning of these gross parameterizations of stellar atmospheres, as higher-order surface details such as shapes, limb darkening, gravity darkening, and spotting are beginning to be imaged with LBI.