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First Resolved Images of the Interacting Binary Beta Lyrae

High resolution images of the interacting binary Beta Lyrae obtained using the CHARA array outfitted with the Michigan Infra-Red Combiner (MIRC). The darker component in the vedio is the primary (mass donor), which has a diameter of ~0.5 milli-arcsec and is resolved by CHARA-MIRC. It is elongated because of Roche-lobe overflowing. The fainter component is the disk surrounding the secondary star (mass gainer). The separation of the two components is ~1 milli-arcsec. (Zhao et al. 2008)



Rapid rotator Models

We've constructed Roche-von Zeipel models for our studies on nearby rapid rotators, Altair (Monnier et al. 2007), Alf Oph, Alf Cep (Zhao et al. 2009), etc. Our models were tested in detail with the independent model of Jason Aufdenberg (2006) and we agree with each other very well. Here we post our test data and model squared-visibilities for other groups in the field to compare with.

Click here for the test data:vega_test. and see more information in Readme.txt


The MIRC Planning Tool

The Michigan Infra-Red Combiner (MIRC) is an combiner built for the CHARA Array Interferometer by Prof. Monnier at the University of Michigan (Monnier et al. 2004, 2006). It combines 4 CHARA telescopes simultaneously to allow true interferometric imaging in the H band. Because MIRC uses 4 telescopes at the same time and CHARA has very specific baseline ranges (determined by its POPs), the available observing window on the sky is limited and it is complicated to choose the best array configuration for a certain group of objects. Therefore we've made an observing planning tool for MIRC and CHARA users to configure the array and organize their observations.

The package is written in IDL and is available here: mirc_plan

Below are the screen shots of the program. See README for more details.