Sharpening the View Image 2
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Sharpening the View (Image 2)

June 30, 2010
Sharpening the View (Image 2) In this version, a NASA image of Earth is added for scale, and both Earth and sunspot are artiifically blurred on the left half to simulate normal, uncorrected viewing through Earth's atmosphere. (No "before" companion was made for a "before-and-after" image set; see Here for the unedited image.) A composite image depicts the improvement in solar observing made possible by high-order adaptive optics (AO) at the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Dunn Solar Telescope in Sunspot, N.M. The original image shows sunspot AR 10805, on Sept. 28, 2005, 17:03:47 UTC. The right half has a resolution of 0.14 arc-second in G-band, a wavelength of 430.5 nanometers (bright blue, rendered here in yellow for easier viewing). The left half of the image is artificially blurred to simulate the 0.5- to 1-arc-second seeing possible with conventional ground-based solar telescopes. A NASA image of Earth is added to show the relative size of the spot. The finished image spans an angle of about 56 arc-seconds, equivalent to about 3.2 times the diameter of Earth at the visible surface of the Sun. Success with the AO project has paved the way for NSO to design and propose the NSF-funded 4-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope, the world's largest optical solar telescope, which will observe even sharper than other solar telescopes. (Date of Image: unknown)

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