A Sharper Image: Seeing Colliding Galaxies with Adaptive Optics (with Dr. Claire Max)

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures

May 12 2022 • 1 hr 16 mins

When light from space enters Earth’s atmosphere, it is distorted and displaced, something our eyes perceive as “twinkling.”  Adaptive optics can remove a great deal of this distortion, essentially restoring much of the detail we’ve been robbed off in our view of the stars and galaxies.  Dr. Max, a world-renowned pioneer in this technique, shows us how modern lasers allow her to do this very precisely.  And she discusses how this technique is giving us sharper views of such cosmic events as the collision of nearby galaxies.

Speaker: Dr. Claire Max (University of California Observatories)
Oct. 3, 2018