Institute of Astronomy

Diffraction limited imaging in the visible on large ground-based telescopes

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Craig Mackay (IoA)8 June 2011Institute of Astronomy Seminars


Lucky Imaging techniques are able routinely to deliver Hubble resolution on Hubble size telescopes on the ground. Diffraction limited imaging in the visible has already been demonstrated on a 5 m telescope by combining Lucky Imaging with low order adaptive optics wavefront correction. However traditional (Shack-Hartmann) adaptive optics wavefront sensors require bright reference stars greatly limiting the applicability of the technique. A new approach to building wavefront sensors will allow reference stars as faint as I=18.5 to be used on 8-10 m class telescopes to give angular resolutions in the visible of 15-20 milliarcseconds or 6-8 times that of Hubble. A new instrument (AOLI) is now been developed initially for use on the WHT 4.2 m telescope and also for the GTC 10.5 m telescope on la Palma. The development involves a consortium including the IAC (La Laguna), the ING, Universities of Cartagena, Cologne and Cambridge.


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