Direct 75 milliarcsecond images from the Multiple Mirror Telescope with adaptive optics

M. Lloyd-Hart, R. Dekany, B. Mcleod, D. Wittman, D. Colucci, D. Mccarthy, R. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We report results from an adaptive optics system designed to provide imaging at the diffraction limit of resolution in the near-infrared at the Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT). For the present experiment, the aperture consisted of five of the six primary mirrors of the MMT, operating as a coherently phased array. The largest components of the atmospherically induced wave-front aberration are the fluctuations in mean phase between the segments. These errors were derived in real time from the Fourier transform of short-exposure stellar images at 2.2 μm and corrected at an image of the telescope pupil with piston motion from a segmented adaptive mirror. At a correction rate of 43 Hz, this level of adaptive control resulted in an integrated image with a clear diffraction-limited component of 0″.075 FWHM. This stabilized component is present directly in the light arriving at the detector and is not the result of postprocessing. We discuss future improvements to our adaptive wave-front control and its application to astronomical observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L81-L84
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Jan 10 1993


  • Atmospheric effects
  • Techniques: image processing
  • Techniques: interferometric
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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