EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 446, Number 2, February I 2006
Page(s) 739 - 745
Section Instruments, observational techniques, and data processing
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053695
A&A 446, 739-745 (2006)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053695

Lucky imaging: high angular resolution imaging in the visible from the ground

N. M. Law, C. D. Mackay and J. E. Baldwin

Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK

(Received 24 June 2005 / Accepted 26 September 2005)

We use a Lucky Imaging system to obtain I-band images with much improved angular resolution on a 2.5 m telescope. We present results from a 10-night assessment campaign on the 2.56 m Nordic Optical Telescope and quantify the performance of our system in seeings better than 1.0''. In good seeing we have acquired near diffraction-limited images; in poorer seeing the angular resolution has been routinely improved by factors of 2.5-4. The system can use guide stars as faint as I=16 with full performance and its useful field of view is consistently larger than 40'' diameter. The technique shows promise for a number of science programmes, both galactic (e.g. binary candidates, brown dwarfs, globular cluster cores) and extragalactic (e.g. quasar host galaxies, damped Lyman-$\alpha$ absorbers).

Key words: instrumentation: high angular resolution -- techniques: high angular resolution -- techniques: image processing -- atmospheric effects

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