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Proceedings Paper

Diffraction-limited I band imaging with faint reference stars
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Paper Abstract

The use of faint reference stars for the selection of good short exposure images has recently been demonstrated as a technique which can provide essentially diffraction-limited I band imaging from well-figured ground-based telescopes as large as 2.5 m diameter. The faint limiting magnitude and enhanced isoplanatic patch size for the selected exposures technique means that 20% of the night sky is within range of a suitable reference star for I-band imaging. Typically the 1%-10% of exposures with the highest Strehl ratios are selected. When these exposures are shifted and added together, field stars in the resulting images have Strehl ratios as high as 0.26 and FWHM as small as 90 milliarcseconds. Within the selected exposures the isoplanatic patch is found to be up to 50 arcseconds in diameter at 810 nm wavelength. Images within globular clusters and of multiple stars from the Nordic Optical Telescope using reference stars as faint as I~16 are presented. The technique relies on a new generation of CCDs which provide sub-electron readout noise at very fast readout rates. The performance of the selection technique for various astronomical programs is discussed in comparison with natural guide star Adaptive Optics (AO).

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4839, Adaptive Optical System Technologies II, (7 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.457029
Show Author Affiliations
Robert N. Tubbs, Institute of Astronomy/Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
John E. Baldwin, Cavendish Astrophysics Group/Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Craig D. Mackay, Institute of Astronomy/Univ. of Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4839:
Adaptive Optical System Technologies II
Peter L. Wizinowich; Domenico Bonaccini, Editor(s)

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