IRS 3 - The Brightest Compact MIR Source in the Galactic Center

Eckart, A.; Pott, J.-U.; Glindemann, A.; Viehmann, T.; Schödel, R.; Straubmeier, C.; Leinert, C.; Feldt, M..; Genzel, R.; Robberto, M.
The Power of Optical/IR Interferometry: Recent Scientific Results and 2nd Generation Instrumentation, Eso Astrophysics Symposia. ISBN 978-3-540-74253-1. Springer, 2008, p. 307


In a recent VLTI experiment we partially resolved the dust enshrouded star IRS 3 in the central light year of our galaxy. This observation is the first step in investigating both IRS 3 in particular and the stellar population of the Galactic Center in general with the VLTI at highest angular resolution. Here some of the scientific issues that can be addressed by a complete MIDI dataset on IRS 3 in the mid infrared are outlined. A bright compact source like IRS 3 is also technically essential for future VLTI phase-reference experiments at 10 μm in order to investigate other nearby sources, e.g. the Sgr A* black hole. For this purpose it is important to know the strength and compactness of IRS 3 on the longest baselines.