Adaptive Optics Definition

An imaging system, such as a reflecting telescope, that has optical elements that change shape, adapting to changes in the phenomena being imaged. Such systems allow astronomers to obtain sharp images of celestial objects by adapting to and removing the effects of turbulence in the earth's atmosphere.
American Heritage

(astronomy, optics) An optical system in telescopes that reduces atmospheric distortion by dynamically measuring and correcting wavefront aberrations in real time, often by using a deformable mirror.


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