© 2011

Principles of Stellar Interferometry


Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 1-4
  3. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 5-72
  4. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 157-215
  5. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 217-274
  6. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 275-315
  7. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages 317-318
  8. Andreas Glindemann
    Pages E1-E2
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 319-342

About this book


Over the last decade, stellar interferometry has developed from a specialist tool to a mainstream observing technique, attracting scientists whose research benefits from milliarcsecond angular resolution. Stellar interferometry has become part of the astronomer’s toolbox, complementing single-telescope observations by providing unique capabilities that will advance astronomical research.

This carefully written book is intended to provide a solid understanding of the principles of stellar interferometry to students starting an astronomical research project in this field or to develop instruments and to astronomers using interferometry but who are not interferometrists per se.

Illustrated by excellent drawings and calculated graphs
  • the imaging process in stellar interferometers is explained starting from first principles on light propagation and diffraction
  • wave propagation through turbulence is described in detail using Kolmogorov statistics
  • the impact of turbulence on the imaging process is discussed both for single telescopes and for interferometers
  • instrumental techniques like beam combination and array layout are described, and the requirements for delay lines are derived
  • visibility measurements (modulus and phase) through turbulence are analyzed and limitations are quantified
  • correction methods (fringe tracking and adaptive optics) are presented, discussing closed loop operation with a dual feed system.

The book closes with examples of contemporary stellar interferometers and useful appendices on the Fourier transform and atmospheric transmission bands.


Adaptive Optics Aperture synthesis Astrometry Beam combination Fringe tracking Heterodyne interferometry Imaging Through Turbulence Light diffraction Light propagation Multi-conjugate adaptive optics Phase Referenced Imaging Space interferometers Speckle interferometry Stellar Interferometry Very High Angular Resolution Very large telescope interferometers Wavefront reconstruction Wavefront sensing

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.European Southern Observatory (ESO)GarchingGermany

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