Sunday, March 9, 2008

Get Lucky

Last summer, the ol' 200-inch Hale Telescope obtained some of the highest-resolution visible-light images ever obtained from Earth or space by making use of adaptive optics and something known as LuckyCam. LuckyCam went on to be named one of Time Magazine's Best Inventions of 2007, along with such products as the iPhone.

Caltech's Nicholas Law will be giving a free public lecture on adaptive optics, LuckyCam and what is to follow it on Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 pm. The talk will be held downstairs at Oceanside Photo & Telescope, located at 918 Mission Avenue in Oceanside. (Click here for a map.) No reservations will be needed to attend the lecture, but seating will be limited.

Above, the Cat's Eye Nebula. Below a comparison of the Hale Telescope (left) vs. the Hubble Space Telescope (right):

Notice that the Hubble sees more stars than the 200-Hale. Why? Its darker up there. However, you should be able to tell that the size of the stars is smaller in the Palomar image. After we successfully correct for the distortions caused by the atmosphere our larger telescope actually obtains higher-resolution images.

Want to know more about this? Attend the talk on Saturday night which is brought to you by the Friends of Palomar Observatory and the Oceanside Photo & Telescope Astronomical Society.

1 comment:

Selden said...


Would it be possible to persuade the speaker to make the presentation available online? Some of us live far enough away that attending events in Southern California is rather difficult.