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Studenterkollokvium - Kristian Trelborg: Ground- and Space-based Interferometry

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Thursday 11 May 2017,  at 14:15 - 15:00

Kristian Trelborg

Ground- and Space-based Interferometry

Vejleder: Hans Kjeldsen 

Dato: 11/5 klokken 14.15

Ever since the first telescope was made and pointed towards the stars mankind has strived to make ever larger telescopes. In that pursuit we have reached the largest practically possible telescopes and moved beyond that. The largest telescopes today all consist of segmented mirrors where each hexagonal mirrorsegment can be adjusted to account for the atmospheric disturbances. Not only does the segmented mirror allow for adaptice optics, it is also crucial in the quest for ever larger telescopes.

Even with segmented mirrors there is a maximum physically possible size to a telescope. The largest telescopes today are the Keck telescopes with a primary mirror of 10m and the largest telescope coming up is the 39m European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

If we want to be able to take pictures of extrasolar planets with a resolution somewhat similar to what we see in pictures of Earth we will need a primary mirror of several 100km!

This is obviously impossible to achieve with a single telescope, but it it possible with an interferometer where several telescopes work together.