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New Technology Brings Space Telescope Image Quality Down to Earth

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posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 12:35 PM

(Tucson, Ariz.) -- The next generation of adaptive optics has arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, providing astronomers with a new level of image sharpness never before seen. Developed in a collaboration between Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) and the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory. Until relatively recently, ground-based telescopes had to live with wavefront distortion caused by the Earth's atmosphere that significantly blurred the images of distant objects (this is why stars appear to twinkle to the human eye). While there have been advancements in adaptive optics technology to correct atmospheric blurring, the LBT's innovative system truly takes this concept to a whole new level.

Source :

Huge breakthrough. It is now possible to get space pictures as good as Hubbles from earth observatories.

posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:31 PM
A flag and no Comments !!!
I will post one.

Here are links to the incredible videos showing the capabilities of the new system:

Realtime video :
Slow motion :

And a (huge, multi MB) picture of the mirror :

posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:35 PM
These adaptive optics also have nice military targeting applications.

posted on Aug, 1 2010 @ 07:42 PM
Maybe someone else than NASA can come up with pictures of the lander and finally shut the mouth of those thinking it was all staged.

posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 11:01 PM
I find this technology quite amazing given how dynamic atmospheric distortions can be given changing temperatures at altitude and airmass. I worked at an observatory and you were lucky to resolve any detail on lengthy exposures. If the object was low on the horizon you are out of luck. Must be quite a powerful computer front-end to boot to calculate the mirrors distortion from image samples 1000 times a second!

Great find! I never seen this technology at such a level of advancement.

[edit on 8/4/2010 by GoldEagle]

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