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Home / Science / ESO's Very Large Telescope takes sharp images of Neptune

ESO's Very Large Telescope takes sharp images of Neptune



Astronomers at the Paranal Observatory in Chile have achieved the first light with a state-of-the-art adaptive optics mode for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to remove disturbances from the Earth's atmosphere.

New images published by the European Southern Observatory using the adaptive optics process have made a photo of the distant planet Neptune more detailed than that of the Hubble Space Telescope, specifically designed to evade such atmospheric distortions.

Essentially the Earth The atmosphere distorts the appearance of things in space, sparking stars and blurring distant objects. "These results on UT4 with the AOF will help bring ELT engineers and scientists closer to implementing similar adaptive optics technology on the 39-meter giant." MUSE Wide Field Mode coupled with GALACSI in ground-layer mode allows the correction of the effects of atmospheric turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere up to one kilometer above the telescope over a wide field of view. The images are the result of the new adaptive optics mode on his GALACSI unit, which works with a spectrograph instrument called MUSE on one of the telescopes.

"But the new narrow-field mode with laser tomography nearly corrects all atmospheric turbulence over the telescope to produce much sharper images, but over a smaller area of ​​the sky." [1

9659002] That's what the planet looked like without the adaptive optics.

These atoms act as laser guide stars, and the light they throw back is used to measure atmospheric turbulence. This is extremely difficult to achieve in the visible range and provides images that are similar in sharpness to those of NASA's NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

According to ESO, the ability to capture sharp images allows astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects on a large scale in greater detail than before.

With this new capability, the 8-m VLT Unit Telescope 4 achieves the theoretical limit of image sharpness and is no longer limited by atmospheric blur. The new tool radiates four lasers into the sky, creating an intense orange light with a diameter of 30 centimeters. The image on the right is the view from MUSE's narrow field mode when the adaptive optics are on. Adaptive optics systems consist of three main components: a wavefront corrector to compensate for the distortion, a wavefront sensor to measure the distortion, and a control system to calculate the required correction and shape to use for the corrector.


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