8 March 2001 CfA Colloquium

Title: The Solar System at high spatial resolution: Early applications of adaptive optics at the Keck Telescope

Speaker: Claire Max

Abstract: Adaptive optics technology removes the blurring due to turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere, by measuring the optical aberrations at high speed and correcting them with a deformable mirror. This talk will describe the principles behind today's astronomicial adaptive optics systems, illustrating these principles via the adaptive optics systems at the Lick and Keck Observatories. Solar system objects are ideal for adaptive optics imaging and spectra: the objects are bright, have significant surface detail and chemistry, and may exhibit changes over periods of days to years. The second part of this talk will present high-resolution images from the Keck Observatory of the asteroid 216 Kleopatra, storms on Neptune, Titan's atmosphere and surface, and the rings of Uranus.

Reference for students:

Adaptive Optics for Astronomical Telescopes by John W. Hardy, Oxford Series in Optical and Imaging Sciences

Adaptive Optics in Astronomy by F. Roddier, Cambridge University Press

Lunch with the students will be on Thursday March 8th at 12:30 in A-101.