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Abstract

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.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-astro-081811-125447
2012-09-22
2024-04-22
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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