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ERIC Number: EJ1173280
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Accessing High Spatial Resolution in Astronomy Using Interference Methods
Carbonel, Cyril; Grasset, S├ębastien; Maysonnave, Jean
Physics Teacher, v56 n4 p232-234 Apr 2018
In astronomy, methods such as direct imaging or interferometry-based techniques (Michelson stellar interferometry for example) are used for observations. A particular advantage of interferometry is that it permits greater spatial resolution compared to direct imaging with a single telescope, which is limited by diffraction owing to the aperture of the instrument as shown by Rueckner et al. in a lecture demonstration. The focus of this paper, addressed to teachers and/or students in high schools and universities, is to easily underline both an application of interferometry in astronomy and stress its interest for resolution. To this end very simple optical experiments are presented to explain all the concepts. We show how an interference pattern resulting from the combined signals of two telescopes allows us to measure the distance between two stars with a resolution beyond the diffraction limit. Finally this work emphasizes the breathtaking resolution obtained in state-of-the-art instruments such as the VLTi (Very Large Telescope interferometer).
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers; Students
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A