Adaptive Optics and Its Impact on Optical and Infrared Astronomy

Sunday, 16 February 2014
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Claire Max , University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
Adaptive Optics and laser guide stars are recently-developed technologies that correct for optical distortions due to turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere, so that telescopes on the ground can "see" as clearly as if they were in space. This talk will review the history and principles of adaptive optics and laser guide star technology, which grew out of both military and astronomical applications. The talk will discuss recent astronomical advances that adaptive optics has made possible.