Adaptive Optics

Dr. Masen Lamb

May 12th, 2020, 7:00 p.m. EDT (convert to your time zone)

The twinkling in stars has long captured the imagination of humanity, acting as a doorway to the night sky for many and even serving as the focus for a classic children’s lullaby. The Earth’s turbulent atmosphere is responsible for this twinkling however, and its effect has hampered modern astronomy for decades. Space telescopes such as Hubble have been able to avoid this situation by existing well above the Earth’s atmosphere. However, the logistics with building space telescopes on a large scale (both in size and quantity) has largely motivated astronomers to explore other means to manage the effects of the turbulent atmosphere. The most prevalent method is through a technology called Adaptive Optics, where deformable mirrors help to mostly remove these atmospheric effects throughout the course of an observation. This talk aims to outline this technology and discuss its current and future role for ground-based astronomy.The twinkling in stars has long captured the imagination of humanity, acting as a doorway to the night sky for many and even serving as the focus for a classic children’s lullaby. The Earth’s turbulent atmosphere is responsible for this twinkling however, and its effect has hampered modern astronomy for decades. Space telescopes such as Hubble have been able to avoid this situation by existing well above the Earth’s atmosphere. However, the logistics with building space telescopes on a large scale (both in size and quantity) has largely motivated astronomers to explore other means to manage the effects of the turbulent atmosphere. The most prevalent method is through a technology called Adaptive Optics, where deformable mirrors help to mostly remove these atmospheric effects throughout the course of an observation. This talk aims to outline this technology and discuss its current and future role for ground-based astronomy.

 

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Online

May 12, 2020