AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 5 Visible/UV/IR Space Missions and Technology
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.09] The Stellar Imager (SI): Preliminary Results from the Ongoing Vision Mission Study

K. G. Carpenter (NASA's GSFC), C. J. Schrijver (LMATC), SI Mission Concept Development Team

The Stellar Imager (SI) is a "Vision Mission" in the far-horizon NASA Roadmap, conceived for the purpose of understanding the effects of stellar magnetic fields, 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/stellar activity and to understand the impact of that activity on planetary climates and the origin and maintenance of life in the Universe. The science goals of SI require an ultra-high angular resolution, at ultraviolet wavelengths, on the order of 100 micro-arcsec and baselines on the order of 0.5 km. SI's resolution will make it an invaluable resource for many other areas of astrophysics, including studies of AGNís, supernovae, cataclysmic variables, young stellar objects, QSO's, and stellar black holes. These requirements call for a large, multi-spacecraft (>20) imaging interferometer, utilizing precision formation flying in a stable environment, such as in a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 point. In this paper, we present an update on the ongoing SI Vision Mission concept and technology development studies.

The SI Mission Concept Study is supported, in part, by grants from NASA-HQ through the 2003 Vision Mission NRA.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.