Laser Takes the Twinkle Out of a Star

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Science  20 Oct 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5235, pp. 373
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5235.373b


In the first full test of a novel “adaptive optics” system, astronomers at California's Lick Observatory used a laser to create a point of light 100 kilometers above Earth's surface, then brought it into focus with a computer-guided flexible mirror. The arrangement corrects for atmospheric distortions and allowed the astronomers to collect data from young stars that could not normally be seen from the ground.