Spectro-interferometry of the Mira star T Cep with the IOTA interferometer and comparison with models

Weigelt, G., Beckmann, U., Berger, J., Blöcker, T., Brewer, M.K., Hofmann, K.-H., Lacasse, M., Malanushenko, V., Millan-Gabet, R., Monnier, J., Ohnaka, K., Pedretti, E., Schertl, D., Schloerb, P., Scholz, M., Traub, W.A., and Yudin, B.

W.A. Traub (ed.), Interferometry for Optical Astronomy II, SPIE Conf. Vol. 4838 p. 181-184 (2003)


Our new IOTA JHK-band beam combiner allows the simultaneous recording of spectrally dispersed J-, H- and K-band Michelson interferograms. In this paper we present our IOTA observations of the Mira star T Cep with this beam combiner (observations in June 2001; four baselines in the range of 14 m to 27 m). The beam combiner optics consists of an anamorphic cylindrical lens system and a prism. From the interferograms of T Cep we derive the visibilities and the J-, H-, and K-band uniform-disk diameters of 14.0 +/- 0.6 mas, 13.7 +/- 0.6 mas and 15.0 +/- 0.6 mas, respectively. Angular stellar filter radii and Rosseland radii are derived from the measured visibilities by fitting theoretical center-to-limb intensity variations (CLVs) of different Mira star models. The available HIPPARCOS parallax (4.76 +/- 0.75 mas) of T Cep allows us to determine linear radii. For example, from the K-band visibility we derive a Rosseland radius of 329-50/+70 solar radii if we use the CLVs of the M-models as fit functions. This radius is in good agreement with the theoretical M-model Rosseland radius of 315 solar radii. The comparison of measured stellar parameters (e.g. diameters, effective temperature, visibility shape) with theoretical parameters indicates whether any of the models is a fair representation of T Cep. The ratios of visibilities of different spectral channels can be measured with higher precision than absolute visibilities. Therefore, we use the visibility ratios V(λ1)/V(λ2) to investigate the wavelength dependence of the stellar diameter. We find that the 2.03 μm uniform-disk diameter of T Cep is about 1.26 times larger than the 2.26 μm uniform-disk diameter.

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G. Weigelt, D. Mourard, L. Abe, U. Beckmann, O. Chesneau, C. Hillemanns, K.-H. Hofmann, S. Ragland, D. Schertl, M. Scholz, P. Stee, N. Thureau, and F. Vakili

GI2T/REGAIN spectro-interferometry with an infrared beam combiner

Interferometry in Optical Astronomy, SPIE Conf. Vol. 4006, p. 617-626 (2000)


We have built an infrared beam combiner for the GI2T/REGAIN interferometer of the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur. The beam combiner allows us to record spectrally dispersed Michelson interference fringes in the near-infrared J-, H- or K-bands. The beam combiner has the advantage that Michelson interferograms can simultaneously be recorded in about 128 different spectral channels. The tilt of the spectrally dispersed fringes is a measure of the instantaneous optical path difference. We present the optical design of the beam combiner and GI2T/REGAIN observations of the Mira star R Cas with this beam combiner in the spectral range of 2.00 micron - 2.18 micron (observations on 22 and 25 August 1999; variability phase 0.08; V-magnitude approx. 6; seven baselines between 12m and 24m; reference stars Vega and Beta Peg). The spectrograph of the beam combiner consists of an anamorphotic cylindrical lens system, an image plane slit, and a grism. A system of digital signal processors calculates the ensemble average power spectrum of the spectrally dispersed Michelson interferograms and the instantaneous optical path difference error in real time. From the observed R Cas visibilities at baselines 12.0m, 13.8m and 13.9m, a 2.1 micron uniform-disk diameter of 25.3mas+/-3.3mas was derived. The unusually high visibility values at baselines >16m show that the stellar surface of R Cas is more complex than previously assumed. The visibility values at baselines >16m can be explained by high-contrast surface structure on the stellar surface of R Cas or other types of unexpected center-to-limb variations. The R Cas observations were compared with theoretical Mira star models yielding a linear Rosseland radius of 276Rsun +/-66Rsun and an effective temperature of 2685K+/-238K for R Cas at phase 0.08.

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