AO Closes the Loop!
05 Feb 99

Fred Chaffee attempts to put the event in perspective:  "This was an historic night at the Keck Observatory.  The promise of producing diffraction-limited near-infrared images on the world's largest telescope reached a major milestone tonight, with the first closing of the AO loop. The AO team and the many others on the Observatory staff who made this evening possible deserve the heartiest congratulations.  Scott Acton may have put it best at night's end: 'It's a miracle!'"

"First light" Keck II adaptive optics images before and after closing-the-AO-loop on a V=5.6 A0 star at 0300 HST on 2/5/99.  The image at H (1.6 um) improved from 600 to 44 milliarcseconds and the strehl by a factor of about 100 to ~25%. The exposure time using K-CAM (which has 17 mas pixels) was 5 seconds with ND3.

There are now many results from the scientific verification program; these have been ordered by astrophysical categories:
Also check out the Control room photos during the first commissioning night.


 The Keck II AO Facility was made possible by a grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation and funds from NASA. The Natural Guide Star AO system was fabricated by Keck Observatory and Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL provided the wavefront controller).