Starfire telescope

Starfire telescope

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This image is part of the feature 400 Years Of The Telescope
This image is part of the feature 100 Years Of Einstein
This image is part of the feature New Telescopes

Credit: DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Starfire laser beam. Astronomer with the 1.5-metre telescope at the Starfire Optical Range (SOR) as it projects a copper vapour laser beam (green). This laser creates an artificial 'star' in the upper atmosphere, within the field of view of the SOR's main 3.5-metre telescope. The latter detects any change in shape of the artificial 'star' due to air turbulence, and uses a flexible adaptive optics mirror to compensate. This effectively counters the familiar 'twinkling' of stars, and offers highly-improved resolution over conventional ground-based observatories. The SOR was developed by a team led by Robert Fugate and was built in New Mexico, USA.

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Keywords: adaptive optics, astronomy, astrophysics, laser, optical telescope, starfire, starfire beam, starfire telescope, telescope

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