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|Title: ||Optical Interferometry and Mira Variable Stars|
|Authors: ||Ireland, Michael James|
|Keywords: ||optical interferometry;Mira variable stars;AGB stars|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. Physics|
|Abstract: ||This thesis describes the development of a red tip/tilt and fringe detection system at the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer (SUSI), modelling the instrumental performance and effects of seeing at SUSI, making observations of Mira variable stars and finally modelling the atmospheres of Mira variables with physically self-consistent models. The new SUSI tip/tilt system is based around a CCD detector and has been successfully used to both track the majority of tip/tilt power in median seeing at an R magnitude of 4.5, and to provide seeing measures for post processing. The new fringe-detection system rapidly scans 33 to 140 $\mu$m in delay and detects the fringes using two avalanche-photodiodes. It has been used to acquire fringe data, provide user feedback and to track the fringe group-delay position. The system visibility (fringe visibility for a point source) and throughput were found to be consistent with models of the SUSI optical beam train. Observations were made of a variety of sources, including the Mira variables R Car and RR Sco, which were observed in two orthogonal polarization states. These measurements were the first successful use of Optical Interferometric Polarimetry (OIP), and enabled scattered light to be separated from bright photospheric flux. Dust scattering was found to originate from a thin shell 2-3 continuum radii from these stars, with an optical depth of 0.1 to 0.2 at 900 nm. Physical models of Mira variables including dust formation were developed, providing consistent explanations for these results as well as many other photometric and interferometric observations.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Ireland, Michael James;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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