Abstract

A proposed astrometric interferometer capable of relative stellar position measurements with 10−4 arc sec accuracy is described. The instrument is a long-baseline Michelson interferometer modified to track the fringe motion caused by atmospheric turbulence. Simultaneous fringe amplitude and phase measurements at two wavelengths are used to correct atmospheric distortion when the field of view is much larger than the isoplanatic patch. Relative positions of stars brighter than ~ 10 mag in an ~ 1° field of view can be measured with an accuracy of ~ 10−4 arc sec after several hours of observation. Such an instrument should have a number of interesting astrophysical and geophysical applications, such as a search for planets around nearby stars, the gravitational deflection of light around the sun, and changes in the earth’s axis of rotation.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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