‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Mauna Kea Skies program at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17, will discuss how astronomers take the twinkle out of stars. Join Mark Chun of the Institute for Astronomy for his talk entitled “Our continued quest to untwinkle the stars.”
New discoveries in astronomy are driven, even more so than other fields of science, by new techniques and technologies that open new views of the universe.
From Galileo observing through one of the first telescopes the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter, to Edwin Hubble measuring the expansion rate of the universe, these discoveries have shaped our understanding of our place in the universe. In the past two decades, a flood of new techniques and instruments have made their way to ground-based telescopes, and they have enabled a range of discoveries.
These advances will continue into the near future as new telescopes and new instruments bring opportunities to explore regions of space previously beyond our sight. Adaptive optics, a technique to remove the blurring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere, is one of the key technologies enabling this new vision. Pioneered in Hawaii, many of the first-generation adaptive optics systems reside on telescopes on Mauna Kea. The field of adaptive optics has also grown up over the last two decades and astronomers are now poised to deploy a new generation of systems that will broaden its use and impact.
Admission is charged.