adaptive optics

noun

plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: 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 But space monitoring and communication strongly benefit from adaptive optics even on modest apertures. Scientific American, 15 Mar. 2021 In 1986, the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past the planet, and the Keck Observatory has captured images using advanced adaptive optics. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 7 Apr. 2023 That’s where adaptive optics comes in. Rich Talcott, Discover Magazine, 8 Oct. 2019 The precision afforded by adaptive optics has resulted in images of exoplanets in other star systems and even two supermassive black holes colliding hundreds of millions of light-years away. Erika K. Carlson, Discover Magazine, 16 Oct. 2018 And, to make matters worse, the adaptive optics system — a special mirror design that lets astronomers counteract turbulent atmospheric conditions — crashed several times. Hailey Rose McLaughlin, Discover Magazine, 5 June 2019 The Keck Observatory telescopes in Hawaii use high-tech adaptive optics equipment that changes their mirrors' shape 1,000 times per second to counter the twinkling caused by Earth's atmosphere. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 8 Apr. 2020 To achieve their unprecedented views of the universe, both telescopes use adaptive optics. Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2016 When there are no bright stars lasers can be used to artificially create a point of light (laser guide star adaptive optics or LGS AO). Jamie Carter, Forbes, 25 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'adaptive optics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adaptive optics was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near adaptive optics

Cite this Entry

“Adaptive optics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adaptive%20optics. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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