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Diffraction limited imaging in the visible on large ground-based telescopes

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Lucky Imaging techniques are able routinely to deliver Hubble resolution on Hubble size telescopes on the ground. Diffraction limited imaging in the visible has already been demonstrated on a 5 m telescope by combining Lucky Imaging with low order adaptive optics wavefront correction . However traditional (Shack-Hartmann) adaptive optics wavefront sensors require bright reference stars greatly limiting the applicability of the technique. A new approach to building wavefront sensors will allow reference stars as faint as I=18.5 to be used on 8-10 m class telescopes to give angular resolutions in the visible of 15-20 milliarcseconds or 6-8 times that of Hubble. A new instrument (AOLI) is now been developed initially for use on the WHT 4 .2 m telescope and also for the GTC 10 .5 m telescope on la Palma. The development involves a consortium including the IAC (La Laguna), the ING , Universities of Cartagena, Cologne and Cambridge.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Seminars series.

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