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Proceedings Article

GRAVITY: getting to the event horizon of Sgr A*

[+] Author Affiliations
F. Eisenhauer, S. Gillessen, S. Rabien, M. Thiel, S. Kellner, R. Hofmann, H. Bartko, K. Dodds-Eden, A. Gräter, R. Genzel, N. Hamaus, M. Haug, J. Kolmeder, O. Pfuhl, J. Ziegleder

Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)

G. Perrin, F. Cassaing, Y. Clénet, P. Fédou, E. Gendron, X. Haubois, K. Houairi, P. Kervella, T. Paumard, D. Rouan, G. Rousset

LESIA, Observatoire de Paris Meudon (France)

W. Brandner, S. Hippler, R. Lenzen, J. R. Ramos, H. Baumeister, A. Boehm, R. Klein, F. Hormuth, V. Naranjo, T. Henning, U. Neumann, W. Laun, R.-R. Rohloff

Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany)

C. Straubmeier, A. Eckart

I. Physikalisches Institut, Univ. zu Köln (Germany)

A. Richichi, M. Schöller

European Southern Observatory (Germany)

J. P. Berger, L. Jocou, S. Lacour, F. Malbet, K. Perraut

Lab. d'Astrophysique, Observatoire de Grenoble (France)

Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 70132A (July 14, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.788407
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From Conference Volume 7013

  • Optical and Infrared Interferometry
  • Marseille, France | June 23, 2008

abstract

We present the second-generation VLTI instrument GRAVITY, which currently is in the preliminary design phase. GRAVITY is specifically designed to observe highly relativistic motions of matter close to the event horizon of Sgr A*, the massive black hole at center of the Milky Way. We have identified the key design features needed to achieve this goal and present the resulting instrument concept. It includes an integrated optics, 4-telescope, dual feed beam combiner operated in a cryogenic vessel; near infrared wavefront sensing adaptive optics; fringe tracking on secondary sources within the field of view of the VLTI and a novel metrology concept. Simulations show that the planned design matches the scientific needs; in particular that 10µas astrometry is feasible for a source with a magnitude of K=15 like Sgr A*, given the availability of suitable phase reference sources.

© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Citation

F. Eisenhauer ; G. Perrin ; W. Brandner ; C. Straubmeier ; A. Richichi, et al.
"GRAVITY: getting to the event horizon of Sgr A*", Proc. SPIE 7013, Optical and Infrared Interferometry, 70132A (July 14, 2008); doi:10.1117/12.788407; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.788407


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