adaptive optics

noun
the branch of optics that compensates for image distortions, especially by means of flexible mirrors or membranes.
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World English Dictionary
adaptive optics
 
n
a technique used to increase the resolution of a ground-based astronomical telescope by counteracting the effects of the atmosphere on the image. A deforming mirror in the light path of the telescope maintains a pointlike image of the celestial body using either a real star or a laser beam as a reference

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Main Entry:  adaptive optics
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a process which compensates for image distortions in telescopes caused by the atmosphere etc., esp. by use of flexible membranes or mirrors
Example:  In adaptive optics, a wavefront sensor uses a reference star to measure the distortions that are occurring and the distortions are then removed with a phase corrector.
Usage:  optics
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Example sentences
None of this star subtraction would be possible without adaptive optics-a means
  of sharpening telescope images.
Giant ground-based telescopes and adaptive optics have brought a new age in
  astronomy.
You're going to have to have adaptive optics and a pretty robust and
  sophisticated closed-loop tracking system.
And adaptive optics, against all odds, actually works.
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