8th VLTI Interferometry School, Cologne, Germany 6th-13th September 2015
In the last decade, optical/infrared long-baseline interferometry has reached a new stage with the advent of multi-telescope arrays accessible to a broad community of astronomers. The Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) built in Chile and operated by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is the best example of a fully open and operational interferometric facility. The instruments AMBER, MIDI and PIONIER have delivered so far spectacular results in many fields of astrophysics.
The next two years will see the second-generation instruments, GRAVITY and MATISSE, commissioned on the VLTI. They will operate in interferometric mode with the four Unit (8-m) or Auxiliary (1.8-m) telescopes in the near- and mid-infrared spectral ranges (K-, L-, M-, and N-bands). With the increasing number of telescopes that can be combined, interferometers are on the verge to reconstruct complex images at an unprecedented angular resolution. Interferometric techniques are useful for studies of a wide range of astrophysical objects such as young and evolved stars, and active galactic nuclei. The community has to prepare for the best possible exploitation of the second-generation instruments in a way that astronomers from a broad range of topics learn how to use interferometric data for their science.
With this objective in mind, we organize a summer school to train astronomers interested in optical interferometry. The prime objective of the school is to initiate astronomers to the use of VLTI by 1) showcasing some applications of VLTI in the field of young stellar objects, evolved stars and active galactic nuclei, 2) teaching the fundamentals of optical interferometry techniques and 3) organizing practical sessions with the software tools that will be used in this research field. The school is addressed to a wide public involved into astronomical research, including undergraduate students, PhDs, postdocs or astronomers willing to exploit long-baseline interferometry. The topics will include an introduction to the technique of long-baseline optical/infrared interferometry, and will cover the various steps of data reduction, basic modeling of interferometric data, as well as proposal writing and preparation of observing runs.