We describe results from the first astronomical adaptive optics (AO) system to use multiple laser guide stars, located at the 6.5 m MMT telescope in Arizona. Its initial operational mode, ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO), provides uniform stellar wave front correction within the 2′ diameter laser beacon constellation, reducing the stellar image widths by as much as 53%, from 070 to 033 at λ = 2.14 μm. GLAO is achieved by applying a correction to the telescope's adaptive secondary mirror that is an average of wave front measurements from five laser beacons supplemented with image motion from a faint stellar source. Optimization of the AO system in subsequent commissioning runs will further improve correction performance where it is predicted to deliver 01-02 resolution in the near-infrared during a majority of seeing conditions.
- atmospheric effects
- instrumentation: adaptive optics
- instrumentation: high angular resolution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science
- Astronomy and Astrophysics