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Session 23 - Science with the Space Interferometry Mission.
Oral session, Wednesday, January 07
International Ballroom Center,

[23.03] The Breadth of SIM Science

D. M. Peterson (SUNY - Stony Brook)

The Space Interferometry Mission is expected to be launched in 2005. The mission, following closely the recommendations of the Bahcall Committee, will determine positions of point sources to an accuracy of 4 \muas globally and to 1 \muas over small angles (\leq 1^\circ). The instrument will reach 20th mag in 10^4\,s and has a nominal lifetime of 5\,yr. A nulling capability will be provided and synthesis imaging and near-IR capabilities are being considered.

These capabilities, extending the Hipparcos mission by almost three orders of magnitude in every sense, argue for an extraordinary return in scientific results. We expect to challenge our understanding of stellar evolution, to define the nature of the Milky Way in terms of both its global parameters and the various perturbations, to map out the kinematics of the Galaxy's satellites and the other members of the local group and to measure accurate distances to several nearby spirals. In this talk I will outline NASA's expectations for the scientific return from the SIM mission in the areas of Stellar Physics, Galactic Structure, and Extragalactic Astrophysics including the distance scale problem.

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Program listing for Wednesday