AAS 197, January 2001
Session 14. New Space Missions and Instrumentation
Display, Monday, January 8, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[14.10] The Stellar Imager (SI) Mission Concept

K. G. Carpenter (LASP-NASA/GSFC), C. J. Schrijver (Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research)

The Stellar Imager ({\em SI}) is envisioned as a space-based, UV-optical interferometer composed of 10 or more one-meter class elements distributed with a maximum baseline of 0.5~km. It will image stars and binaries with one hundred to one thousand resolution elements on their surface and enable long-term studies of stellar magnetic activity patterns and their evolution with time, for comparison with those on the sun. It will also sound their interiors through asteroseismology to image internal structure, differential rotation, and large-scale circulations. {\em SI} will enable us to understand the various effects of magnetic fields of stars, the dynamos that generate them, and the internal structure and dynamics of the stars in which they exist. The ultimate goal is to achieve the best-possible forecasting of solar activity on times scales ranging up to decades, and an understanding of the impact of stellar magnetic activity on astrobiology and life in the Universe. The road to that goal will revolutionize our understanding of stars and stellar systems, the building blocks of the Universe. Fitting naturally within the NASA long-term time line, {\em SI} complements defined missions, and with them will show us entire other solar systems, from the central star to their orbiting planets.

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