Adaptive Optics Improves Ground Based Astronomy

The development of Adaptive Optics removes the blurring of ground-based astronomical images. This distortion of the light from space is caused by turbulence in Earth's atmosphere. Basically, adaptive optics takes a sample of light and calculates how it has been distorted by the atmosphere. Deformable mirrors are then used to correct for this distortion and straighten the light. Adaptive optics works best at longer wavelength, producing excellent results for infrared telescopes. This system greatly improves the resolution of images taken by ground-based infrared observatories.