Solar Adaptive Optics

Thomas R. Rimmele 
National Solar Observatory
PO Box 62, Sunspot, NM 88340, U.S.A.

'External link'http://www.nso.edu/
and
Jose Marino 
National Solar Observatory
PO Box 62, Sunspot, NM 88340, U.S.A.

'External link'http://www.nso.edu/

Abstract

Adaptive optics (AO) has become an indispensable tool at ground-based solar telescopes. AO enables the ground-based observer to overcome the adverse effects of atmospheric seeing and obtain diffraction limited observations. Over the last decade adaptive optics systems have been deployed at major ground-based solar telescopes and revitalized ground-based solar astronomy. The relatively small aperture of solar telescopes and the bright source make solar AO possible for visible wavelengths where the majority of solar observations are still performed. Solar AO systems enable diffraction limited observations of the Sun for a significant fraction of the available observing time at ground-based solar telescopes, which often have a larger aperture than equivalent space based observatories, such as HINODE. New ground breaking scientific results have been achieved with solar adaptive optics and this trend continues. New large aperture telescopes are currently being deployed or are under construction. With the aid of solar AO these telescopes will obtain observations of the highly structured and dynamic solar atmosphere with unprecedented resolution. This paper reviews solar adaptive optics techniques and summarizes the recent progress in the field of solar adaptive optics. An outlook to future solar AO developments, including a discussion of Multi-Conjugate AO (MCAO) and Ground-Layer AO (GLAO) will be given.


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