The Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI)

Until 2008 the Palomar Testbed Interferometer (PTI), was operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It has since been decomissioned. It worked by collecting light with three small telescopes.  The large distance between the small telescopes allowed for much higher resolution measurements to be made. The light was directed through pipes to the central beam combining building where it was analyzed. The separation among the three telescopes was 110 meters. During its lifetime the PTI was effectively the largest telescope on Palomar Mountain.

What is Interferometry?

Photos of the Palomar Testbed Interferometer

Flyer about the PTI (Adobe Acrobat)

Flyer on other NASA Navigator Program Missions for Detecting Extrasolar Planets (Adobe Acrobat)

Palomar Testbed Interferometer Home Page

Michelson Science Center

PHASES - the Palomar High-precision AStrometric Search for Exoplanet Systems

A Tour of the PTI

PTI measures distance to the Pleiades Star Cluster

PTI's findings about the star Altair

Space Interferometry Mission

Choose one of the telescopes listed on the right to see images and learn more about another of  the Palomar Observatory's Telescopes.