During a mid-morning break, the conference organizers herded some 100 astronomers into a semi-circle for the obligatory group photo. They clustered at one end of a five-star hotel pool overlooking a landscape reminiscent of an old Dynasty episode, replete with a hilltop view of immaculately manicured grounds and the harbor of Dana Point, a seaside oasis halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Dubbed “Working on the Fringe,” this May 1999 conference was sponsored by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in nearby Pasadena, and the “Fringe” in the title made reference to interferometric fringes, not what just a few years earlier had been the fringe nature of optical interferometry itself. With the scheduled 2009 launch of its estimated $870-million Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), NASA is taking Michelson’s interferometric technology to the big time. And tony Dana Point made an ideal venue for JPL to promote NASA’s ambitious space-based interferometry missions to the international astronomical community.
KeywordsReference Star Optical Interferometry Satellite Photo Interferometric Fringe Dana Point
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- 1.Marcy, Geoffrey, astronomer, University of California at Berkeley Interviewed on May 25, 1999, at Dana Point, California, and on August 6, 1999, at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii. Follow-ups took place on September 8, 2000, May 10–12, 2001, and June 3, 2001.Google Scholar
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