Stellar Spectroscopy and Adaptive Optics

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Session 42 -- High-Spatial Resolution
Display presentation, Tuesday, 10, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[42.07] Stellar Spectroscopy and Adaptive Optics

N. Woolf, J.R.P. Angel, J. Black (Steward Observatory)

Current adaptive optics systems are already putting the light of a stellar image into a diffraction disk at wavelengths longer than about 6500A. Spectrographs that take advantage of diffraction limited images are much simplified. First, there will be no appreciable light loss at the slit. Secondly, spectrographs will operate at their diffraction limited spectral resolution, so that small spectrographs will serve large telescopes and can provide very high resolution. Thirdly the problem of matching pixels to seeing that required large aperture high speed cameras will go away. Fourth, the area of detector necessary for a given spectral resolution and coverage can be substantially reduced. Fifth, because of the small image, cross dispersion for echelle format becomes much easier. Many orders can be fitted onto a single detector, and this better uses the typical shape of CCD detectors. Sixth, faint objects can be observed without the large amounts of sky background that seeing formerly forced. The benefits of each of these factors will be discussed. Also we will report on a project to attach a very high resolution spectrograph to the Starfire 1.5 meter adaptive telescope

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