imachinations in astronomy 

Interference is used in astronomy by the superposition of the light information of two or more different telescopes targeted on the same object. The aim of such an interferometre is to minimize atmospheric noise and to improve the image quality by creating a kind of virtual telescope. The technique is applied for a long time with radio telescopes. The most recent projects concentrate on the interference of several optical telescopes.
The most interesting aspect is, that the pictures are not superposed digitally but optically. The light information of the different telescopes interferes almost by a clever tunnel system like the one of the
for VLTI in Chile:

The differences in the gradation of the resulting interference patterns are the base for the computational interpretation doing a fourier analysis after.

At the moment there exist three bigger optical telescope interferometer projects: VLT at Paranal Chile and the The Keck on Hawai. A further facility using a different construction it the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona.

Interferometric fringes
Paranal Obsevatory
Date: 30 Oct 2001
(click on image to see more

ESO: The VLT Interferometer (VLTI) at Paranal/Chile works with four 8 m telescopes.

NASA: The Keck at Hawai works with two 10 m mirror telescopes.

The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) run by an international scientific consortium uses two 8 m mirros in one and the same telescope housing.

Further links about interferometry:

NASA: Optical interferometry - how light is combined from multiple telescopes.
DRAO: Principles of Radio Interferometry
V.R.I. - Virtual Radio Interferometer by McKay
wikipedia: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (radio telescopes)

Imachination Blueprint for the Paranal Observatory:

In Autumn 2004 the European Southern Observatories (ESO) invited Tim Otto Roth to visit as the first artist the Paranal Observatory in Chile. The current outline provides a projection in the pool of the residence. (more..)

Another art & science project in the astronomical context:

I see what I see not: From Octobre 2004 - March 31, 2005 scientific images were transmitted from astronomical and nuclear phyical facilities in near real time to the Kunstfassade in Munich, a light wall display consisting of ten by ten light panels that can be controled via internet. :

The first project cycle (Novembre 11, 2003 - March 31, 2004) also worked with the interferometric images from the VLTI at Paranal:
English, 5,5 min., Quicktime, 8,0 Mb deutsch, 6,5 min., Quicktime, 9,8 Mb

The project has been awarded with the international Media Art Award 2004 of ZKM and SWR ! Read the press dossier: (6,3 Mb)

simulation with "crab pulsar" for the 7 by 9 meter large art facade in Munich

New year edition with "Archenar"

On the occasion of the turn of the year 2003/04 appeard a handprinted cyanotype edition with the interferences pattern of Achenar made by ESO's VLTI. (more...)