Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics for Astronomy

  • N. Ageorges
  • C. Dainty

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 551)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. E. J. Kibblewhite
    Pages 51-66
  3. C. E. Max
    Pages 89-106
  4. R. Foy
    Pages 107-123
  5. Roberto Ragazzoni
    Pages 125-146
  6. Stephen T. Ridgway
    Pages 185-217
  7. Jack D. Drummond
    Pages 243-262
  8. T. P. Ray
    Pages 263-284
  9. Cláudia S. Rola
    Pages 309-337
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 339-340

About this book


Adaptive optics allows the theoretical limit of angular resolution to be achieved from a large telescope, despite the presence of turbulence. Thus an eight meter class telescope, such as one of the four in the Very Large Telescope operated by ESO in Chile, will in future be routinely capable of an angular resolution of almost 0.01 arcsec, compared tot he present resolution of about 0.5 arcsec for conventional imaging in good condition.
All the world's major telescopes either have adaptive optics or are in the process of building AO systems. It turns out that a reasonable fraction of the sky can be observed using adaptive optics, with moderately good imaging quality, provided imaging in done in the near IR. To move out of the near IR, with its relatively poor angular resolution, astronomers need a laser guide star. There is a layer of Na atoms at approximately 90 km altitude that can be excited by a laser to produce such a source, or Rayleigh scattering can be employed lower in the atmosphere. But the production and use of laser guide stars is not trivial, and the key issues determining their successful implementation are discussed here, including the physics of the Na atom, the cone effect, tilt determination, sky coverage, and numerous potential astronomical applications.


ASTER adaptive optics astronomy imaging laser optics

Editors and affiliations

  • N. Ageorges
    • 1
  • C. Dainty
    • 2
  1. 1.European Southern ObservatorySantiagoChile
  2. 2.Blackett LaboratoryImperial CollegeLondonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2000
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5492-0
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9624-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1389-2185
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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