Two Astrometric Projects: LIGHT (Light Interferometer Satellite for the studies of Galactic Halo Tracers) and MIRA (Mitaka/Mauna Kea/Maui Optical and Infra-Red Interferometer Array)
International Astronomical Union Colloquium
AbstractThe projects LIGHT and MIRA are the space-borne and ground-based optical/Infrared-interferometer projects of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The contents of each project are gradually developing, and the descriptions given below are the preliminary ones studied at the present time.LIGHT (Light Interferometer satellite for the studies of Galactic Halo Tracers) is a scanning astrometric satellite for stellar and galactic astronomy planned to be launched between 2007 and
... 0 by a M-V launcher of ISAS, Japan. Two sets of Fizeau-type 40cm-pupil interferometers with 1 m baseline are the basic structure of the satellite optics. The multi-color (U, B, V, R, I, andK) CCD arrays are planned to be used in the focal plane of the interferometer, optimized for detecting the precise locations of fringe patterns. LIGHT is expected to observe the parallaxes and proper motions of nearly a hundred million stars up to 18thvisual (15thK-band) magnitude with the precision better than 0.1 milli-arcsecond (about 50 microarcsecond inV-band and 90 micro-arcsecond inK-band) in parallaxes and better than 0.1 milli-arcsecond per year in proper motions, as well as the precise photometric characteristics of the observed stars. Almost all of the giant and supergiant stars belonging to the disk and halo components of our Galaxy within 10 to 15 kpc from the sun will be observed by LIGHT to study the most fundamental structure and evolution of the Galaxy. LIGHT will become a precursor of a more sophisticated future astrometric interferometer satellite like GAIA (Lindegren and Perryman, 1996).