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4 February 2002 Science with laser guide stars at Lick Observatory
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The Lick Observatory laser guide star adaptive optics system has been significantly upgraded over the past two years in order to establish it as a facility science instrument on the Shane 3 meter telescope. Natural Guide Star (NGS) mode has been in use in regular science observing programs for over a year. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) mode has been tested in engineering runs and is now starting to do science observing. In good seeing conditions, the system produces K-band Strehl ratios >0.7 (NGS) and >0.6 (LGS). In LGS mode tip/tilt guiding is achieved with a V~16 natural star anywhere inside a 1 arcminute radius field, which provides about 50% sky coverage. This enables diffraction-limited imaging of regions where few bright guidestars suitable for NGS mode are available. NGS mode requires at least a V~13 guidestar and has a sky coverage of <1%. LGS science programs will include high resolution studies of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, QSO host galaxies and dim pre-main sequence stars.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Donald T. Gavel, Claire E. Max, Scot S. Olivier, Brian J. Bauman, Deanna Marie Pennington, Bruce A. Macintosh, Jennifer Patience, Curtis G. Brown, Pamela M. Danforth, Randall L. Hurd, Elinor L. Gates, Scott A. Severson, and James P. Lloyd "Science with laser guide stars at Lick Observatory", Proc. SPIE 4494, Adaptive Optics Systems and Technology II, (4 February 2002);

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