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Thursday 28 Apr 2022The Sharpest Eyes on the Sky - Towards a Coherent Vision for High Angular Resolution Astronomy

Various speakers -

University of Exeter and Online 09:00-18:00

Hybrid format:

Sharpest Eyes will utilise a hybrid conference format, with different media platforms such as Zoom and Slack in order to accommodate a mixture of online and in-person attendees. Further details on the platforms will be provided at a later date

Motivation & Agenda:

The last few years have seen ground-breaking scientific results in the field of optical/infrared high angular resolution astronomy, opening up new opportunities for observations covering a wide range of key astrophysical objects over a broad range of wavelengths and allowing for the physical characterisation of astronomical objects on milli- and micro-arcsecond scales. At the same time, improved imaging fidelity is opening up new scientific endeavours in e.g. time domain astronomy.

Interferometry has enabled precision spectroscopy & astrometry of exoplanets, stellar surface convection has been imaged on a star other than the Sun, and the broad-line region of quasars have been spatially resolved on sub-parsec scales. Recent results have also seen unprecedented tests of General Relativity, remarkable detail and complexity revealed in the gas of a micro-quasar jet via milli-arcsecond resolution imaging spectroscopy, and the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud constrained to better than 1 per cent.

Further exciting opportunities lay ahead with current and upcoming infrastructure development programmes, both at the CHARA Array (operated by Georgia State University at Mount Wilson Observatory) and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI, built in Chile and operated by the European Southern Observatory). We will discuss the science opportunities provided by new & upcoming instruments (MATISSE, MIRC-X/MYSTIC, SPICA, GRAVITY+, VLTI visitor instruments, etc) and explore synergies between different facilities (VLTI, CHARA, NPOI, MROI, etc).

At this conference, we aim to discuss the latest science results from high angular resolution astronomy obtained using interferometric and non-interferometric techniques and instruments (ALMA, VLT, Gemini, Subaru, NPOI…), covering topics including (but not limited to):

  • planet formation and the discs around young stars;

  • stellar astrophysics and fundamental parameters;

  • Active Galactic Nuclei;

  • exoplanet atmosphere characterisation and detection;

  • orbital dynamics close to the Galactic Centre;

  • evolved stars;

  • the role of multiplicity in stellar evolution.

The meeting will be held in the tradition of the past CHARA Science Meetings and VLTI Community Days, bringing both communities together for the first time. There will be time provided for discussions regarding the recent and future technological development of CHARA and VLTI and to discuss future directions for interferometry from the ground and from space.

Find out more on our dedicated website: 


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