FIRST@LICK: First fringes! Finally...
Published 8/11/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Already three nights on the telescope and we still have no fringes... It looks worrisome but in fact we anticipated difficulties in installing FIRST prototype which is essentially a lab testbench on the Shane telescope. The good news is that every night we have made significant progresses and we identified several sources of problems. So we remained positive and continued  improving the instrument and understanding how to use it on sky. On Tuesday July 27, I had... read more ❯

FIRST@LICK: Two nights hunting for the fringes
Published 8/10/2010 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
As I mentioned before, the Grail of our experiment called FIRST, is to record patterns of interference fringes. Using these "images" we should be able to reconstruct an image with a high dynamic at proximity of the star, allowing us to explore the close vicinity of a nearby star. This is an interesting area, unknown to astronomers and where exoplanets form. To validate this technique we mounted FIRST on the Shane-3m telescope. As predicted this hunt for fringes was a long and tedious task. [caption id="attachment_857" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A mysterious hand tightening up  an optics  is seen through the periscope mirror... read more ❯