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Researchers at Australian National University (ANU) have employed an artificial guide star to bring objects orbiting Earth into focus. The approach may help mitigate risks from space debris.
The guide star laser is a tool in adaptive optics, a field that eliminates the haziness caused by turbulence in the atmosphere. The laser is fired into space and illuminates atoms within the atmosphere. A wavefront sensor measures the level of atmospheric distortion, which then sends a signal to correct the angle of a deformable mirror.
In this case, an orange laser is used, which illuminates sodium atoms in the mesosphere and thermosphere.
Australian National University instrument scientist Celine d’Orgeville stands in front of…