Adaptive optics is a prime example of how progress in observational astronomy can be driven by technological developments. At many observatories it is now considered to be part of a standard instrumentation suite, enabling ground-based telescopes to reach the diffraction limit and, thus, providing spatial resolution superior to that achievable from space with current or planned satellites. In this review, we consider adaptive optics from the astrophysical perspective. We show that adaptive optics has led to important advances in our understanding of a multitude of astrophysical processes and describe how the requirements from science applications are now driving the development of the next generation of novel adaptive optics techniques.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error