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Proceedings Paper

LGS AO science impact: present and future perspectives
Author(s): Michael C. Liu
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Paper Abstract

The recent advent of laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) on the largest ground-based telescopes has enabled a wide range of high angular resolution science, previously infeasible from ground- and/or space-based observatories. As a result, scientific productivity with LGS has seen enormous growth in the last few years, with a factor of ~10 leap in publication rate compared to the first decade of operation. Of the 54 refereed science papers to date from LGS AO, half have been published in the last ~2 years, and these LGS results have already made a significant impact in a number of areas. At the same time, science with LGS AO can be considered in its infancy, as astronomers and instrumentalists are only begining to understand its efficacy for measurements such as photometry, astrometry, companion detection, and quantitative morphology. We examine the science impact of LGS AO in the last few years of operations, largely due to the new system on the Keck II 10-meter telescope. We review currently achieved data quality, including results from our own ongoing brown dwarf survey with Keck LGS. We assess current and near-future performance with a critical eye to LGS AO's capabilities and deficiencies. From both qualitative and quantitative considerations, it is clear that the era of regular and important science from LGS AO has arrived.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2008
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7015, Adaptive Optics Systems, 701508 (16 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789766
Show Author Affiliations
Michael C. Liu, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7015:
Adaptive Optics Systems
Norbert Hubin; Claire E. Max; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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