AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Kitt Peak Speckle Interferometry of Close Visual Binary Stars (Abstract)

Volume 42 number 2 (2014)

Russell Genet
California Polytechnic State University, Cuesta College, and the University of North Dakota, 4995 Santa Margarita Lake Road, Santa Margarita, CA 93453; russmgenet@aol.com
David Rowe
PlaneWave Instruments; drowesmi@aol.com
Thomas C. Smith
Darkridge Observatory; tcsmith@darkridgeobservatory.org
Alex Teiche
California Polytechnic State University; alexteiche@gmail.com
Richard Harshaw
Brilliant Sky Observatory; rharshaw2@cox.net
Daniel Wallace
University of North Dakota; dwallace006@yahoo.com
Eric Weise
University of California; ericdweise@gmail.com
Edward Wiley
Yankee Tank Creek Observatory; edwiley@sunflower.com
Grady Boyce
Boyce Research Initiatives and Educational Foundation; grady@boyce-astro.org
Patrick Boyce
Boyce Research Initiatives and Educational Foundation; pat@boyce-astro.org
Detrick Branston
National Solar Observatory; dbranston@noao.edu
Kayla Chaney
Concordia University; kayla.chaney@eagles.cui.edu
R. Kent Clark
South Alabama University; rclark@jaguarl.usouthal.edu
Chris Estrada
California State University; prlest0112@hotmail.com
Reed Estrada
Northrop Aviation; reed.estrada@roadrunner.com
Thomas Frey
California Polytechnic State University; t.frey@sbcglobal.net
Wayne L. Green
Boulder Astronomy and Space Society; dxwayne@gmail.com
Nathalie Haurberg
Knox College; nhaurber@knox.edu
Greg Jones
Eclipse Technologies; gregj@eclipse-t.com
John Kenney
Concordia University; john.kenney@cui.edu
Sheri Loftin
Kitt Peak National Observatory; loftin@noao.edu
Izak McGieson
Knox College; izak@halcyon.nu
Rikita Patel
Concordia University; rikitaben.patel@eagles.cui.edu
Josh Plummer
University of South Alabama
John Ridgely
California Polytechnic State University; jridgely@caloly.edu
Mark Trueblood
Winer Observatory; winer.obs@gmail.com
Don Westergren
Morris Ranch Observatory; westergren@nethere.com
Paul Wren
University of North Dakota; paul.wren@gmal.com


(Abstract only) Speckle interferometry can be used to overcome normal seeing limitations by taking many very short exposures at high magnification and analyzing the resulting speckles to obtain the position angles and separations of close binary stars. A typical speckle observation of a close binary consists of 1,000 images, each 20 milliseconds in duration. The images are stored as a multi-plane FITS cube. A portable speckle interferometry system that features an electron-multiplying CCD camera was used by the authors during two week-long observing runs on the 2.1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory to obtain some 1,000 data cubes of close binaries selected from a dozen different research programs. Many hundreds of single reference stars were also observed and used in deconvolution to remove undesirable atmospheric and telescope optical effects. The database of well over one million images was reduced with the Speckle Interferometry Tool of platesolve3. A few sample results are provided. During the second Kitt Peak run, the McMath-Pierce 1.6- and 0.8-meter solar telescopes were evaluated for nighttime speckle interferometry, while the 0.8-meter Coude feed was used to obtain differential radial velocities of short arc binaries.