AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 117 SIM
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[117.06] Astrophysics with SIM PlanetQuest

S. J. Edberg (JPL/Caltech)

This poster serves to introduce a series of posters discussing Space Interferometry Mission PlanetQuest (SIM PlanetQuest) science prospects and plans across a wide range of astrophysics.

SIM is being designed and built for NASA's Navigator Program, an element of the Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems theme in the Science Mission Directorate. It will be the first optical interferometer in space dedicated to precision astrometry. Even though SIM PlanetQuest has undergone a significant redesign since last year, the principle parameters of the instrument and anticipated results from its flight have changed little. With astrometric modes yielding 1 microarcsecond and 4 microarcsecond measurements, SIM offers the opportunity to investigate a wide variety of phenomena. From effects due to planetary gravitation within the solar system to investigating the emission phenomena of quasars and AGNs, SIM will provide breakthrough science. SIM astrometry will provide positions, parallaxes (distances), and proper motions with unprecedented accuracies for thousands of stars.

Searches for Earth-like planets will be made. Investigations of other planetary systems are possible, including the masses and orbits of their planets. Characterizations of stellar masses, from brown dwarfs to stellar-mass black holes and across the H-R diagram are planned. Combined with ground-based observations, SIM observations of MACHOs should yield the masses of the microlensing objects for the first time. The ages of globular clusters will be determined and the Milky Way's mass and its distribution will benefit from the study of halo and tidal tail stars. SIM measurements of the motions of Local Group galaxies will enable tests of models of this system. Quasar jets will be investigated and quasars themselves can be used to tie down a significantly improved celestial reference frame.

This work was performed for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/SIM/sim\_index.cfm. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

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