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Proceedings Paper

Scientific potential of ground layer adaptive optics on large telescopes
Author(s): Patrick J. McCarthy
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Paper Abstract

Ground-layer Adaptive Optics offers a unique approach to enhancing the power of large telescopes to explore a wide range of astrophysical phenomena. By accessing wide fields of view with image concentrations that are significantly improved over natural seeing, ground-layer AO systems can probe stellar populations in crowded and confused regions of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, probe the internal dynamics of large samples of galaxies in the distant universe and provide a cost effective path towards highly multiplexed observations of large samples. The improved image concentration over large fields of view offered by ground-layer AO will allow significant gains in sensitivity for multiobject spectrographs operating in the near-IR. This will lead to improved understanding of the formation of the first galaxies and stars as well as the evolution of massive galaxies when the Universe was a few billion years old. Groundlayer AO systems have the potential to eliminate poor seeing from most astronomical sites and to improve the productivity of large and extremely large telescopes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7736, Adaptive Optics Systems II, 77360A (15 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.861446
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick J. McCarthy, Carnegie Observatories (United States)
GMTO, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7736:
Adaptive Optics Systems II
Brent L. Ellerbroek; Michael Hart; Norbert Hubin; Peter L. Wizinowich, Editor(s)

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