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Chapter 8:
Other Ways to Do It
Now, disregard everything I’ve said so far about the adaptive optics system having to have a wavefront sensor, reconstructor, and deformable mirror. I lied. There are some very clever systems that don’t really have a wavefront sensor. They never measure the wavefront. They don’t even try. There is one kind of system that just looks directly at the image and fixes it. The concept is called image sharpening. Because you have read this far, you know what binoculars are. As you look through the binoculars you probably see something that looks like what you want to see, but it is blurry. It’s out of focus. Somewhere on the binoculars is a focus gizmo. It may be a little wheel that you twirl with your fingers or it may be a lens that you can pull out or push in. Some binoculars will have a motorized focus contraption powered by a nuclear reactor, but these are rare. In any case, you try to take the blur out of the image in your eye by adjusting some gadget. When the image looks sharp, you stop fiddling with the contraption and stare in amazement at the object of your attention.
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