Many thanks to Dr Claire Davies, astrophysicist from Exeter University, who gave a talk today as part of Pride in STEM's LGBT STEM Day. Claire discussed her research in interferometry, as well as giving us some insight into her experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community working in STEM. This seminar is part of a national day of celebration of LGBT people working in STEM -- we are proud to support this day at USW.
Information about the seminar is given below.
Title: Visibility in interferometry
Abstract: By coherently combining light from multiple telescopes separated by distances of 10s to 100s of metres, astronomers can achieve spatial resolutions far beyond the capabilities of current or even “next-gen” single aperture telescopes such as the Very Large Telescopes (VLT) or the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). This comes with a caveat, however: in contrast to single aperture telescopes, interferometric arrays can only partly sample the image plane according to the relative locations of the telescopes in the array. Consequently, data analysis is typically undertaken in the Fourier plane. In this talk, I will provide an overview of how the observable quantities of interferometric visibility and closure phase are used to understand how stars and their planets form. In particular, I will focus on recent results from two world-leading optical interferometric arrays: the Very Large Telescope Interferometer and the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy. As this talk coincides with LGBT STEM day, I will also argue the case for making STEM (science, tech, engineering & maths) more inclusive to ensure greater visibility of under-represented minority groups, focussing in part on the activities I lead in Exeter for LGBTQ+ individuals working in STEM.