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Active optics

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Active optics
Active optics is a technology used with reflecting telescopes developed in the 1980s, which actively shapes a telescope's mirrors to prevent deformation due to external influences such as wind, temperature, mechanical stress. Without active optics, the construction of 8 metre class telescopes is not possible, nor would telescopes with segmented mirrors be feasible.

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ASTRONOMY UNBOUND Dictionary

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Active optics
A system of electronic supports which deform the mirror inside a telescope into the most precise possible shape to maximise its performance. This allows much larger, lighter mirrors to be constructed since they no longer need to support their own weight. See also adaptive optics.


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