Definition of adaptive optics

: a telescopic system that improves image resolution by compensating for distortions caused by atmospheric turbulence

Examples of adaptive optics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its construction led by the CNRS, MUSE went live in 2014 and it was coupled with the VLT’s adaptive optics system in 2017. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 Space safety is not the only application that can benefit from adaptive optics. Scientific American, 15 Mar. 2021 The Very Large Telescope uses lasers and adaptive optics to correct for turbulence caused by Earth’s atmosphere. Tim Childers, Popular Mechanics, 23 Nov. 2020 That work was aided immeasurably by the development of advanced adaptive optics tools to counter the distorting effects of the Earth's atmosphere. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Oct. 2020 At around that time, a new technology, adaptive optics (AO), was being installed on telescopes worldwide. Hilton Lewis, Scientific American, 8 Oct. 2020 The emergence of adaptive optics in the late 1990s proved to be the game-changer. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Oct. 2020 Lick’s Shane telescope wields an adaptive optics system, which fires a beam into the atmosphere. Matt Simon, Wired, 26 Aug. 2020 But to be able to see these fine details, Ghez had to become a pioneering user of adaptive optics, a technology that measures distortions in the atmosphere and then adjusts the telescope in real time to cancel out those fluctuations. Quanta Magazine, 27 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adaptive optics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adaptive optics

1966, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of adaptive optics was in 1966

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Cite this Entry

“Adaptive optics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adaptive%20optics. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on adaptive optics

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about adaptive optics

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