Adaptive optics (astronomy)
Close, Laird M. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii.
- Atmospheric limits on imaging
- New discoveries and capabilities
- Links to Primary Literature
Adaptive optics is a new technique to greatly enhance the resolution of an image. Imaging with adaptive optics systems is becoming common at large astronomical and military telescopes. A modern telescope is the most powerful tool for imaging distant objects at high resolution. The reason is that it can collect light over a large aperture (which is usually a curved mirror several meters in diameter) and can theoretically focus that light into a sharp image. A large-diameter mirror is significantly superior to a small one, since the exposure time is proportional to the inverse square of the diameter. Therefore, a mirror 1 m (40 in.) in diameter will detect a faint object in an 8-h exposure, but an 8-m (320-in.) telescope is 64 times greater in area and will thus image the same object in only 7.5 min. Unfortunately, telescopes of all sizes are limited to blurry images because of the Earth's turbulent atmosphere.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information