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   Astronomers, amateur and professional alike, grapple with the challenge of atmospheric turbulence and its effects on seeing. Images may appear to ripple, blur, dissolve, or suddenly brighten when the seeing is bad. Since most of us will never have time on the Hubble Space Telescope, we are compelled to observe through layers of atmosphere. Therefore, solutions that improve a final image are always welcome.

   Dr. Seran Gibbard, of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will explain the basics of speckle interferometry, also known as speckle imaging, at the April general meeting. The term "speckle"

(Continued on Page 4 at Speckle imaging)

These Jovian images were captured by the Lick Observatory 120-inch Shane Telescope, using the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Speckle Imaging Camera. The top shot is the average of 40 1.5-second exposures, the equivalent of a single 60-second exposure. Earth's atmospheric turbulence blurs the image considerably. Speckle imaging, as described by this month's speaker, can correct this blurring. The lower photograph is created from the same 40-exposure set, post processed by speckle imaging. In the processed image, fine details resolve 1,600 km-features  on Jupiter (~0.4 arcseconds). (Credit: club member Don Gavel and Lick Observatory.)

Page 1         Prime Focus   April 1999

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