Science with VLTI+GRAVITY

Woflfgang Brandner , MPIA
GRAVITY is a 4-telescope beam combiner for ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), working in the K-band. While the instrument design has been optimized for high-precision observations of the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole Sgr A* and its immediate environment, the unique sensitivity of VLTI+GRAVITY enable a large range of science applications.

In this talk, I will briefly describe the main capabilities and technological innovations of GRAVITY, which includes the four CIAO (one for each of the 8m-Unit Telescopes) infrared adaptive optics systems provided by MPIA, followed by a concise overview of science results obtained during GRAVITY commissioning and the first 1.5 years of regular science operations at the VLTI. The science topics range from the atmosphere of the exoplanet HR 8799e over properties of disks and outflows in the central AU of Young Stellar Objects, multiplicity of stars in the center of the Orion Nebula Cluster, resolution of microlensed images, spectral-imaging of the close environment of Eta Carinae, and observations of Galactic X-ray binaries, to the study of relativistic effects in the Galactic Center, and a direct measurement of the mass of the supermassive blackhole in the center of the quasar 3C 273.
Königstuhl Colloquium
8 Mar 2019, 15:00
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Level 3 Lecture Hall (301)

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