Near-IR Diffraction Limited PSF

Here is another amazing feat of high resolution, this one commonly acheivable at the UH 2.2m. This is a 5 minute K-band (2.2 micron) image of a point source taken with the UH 2.2m telescope on Mauna Kea. A fast tip/tilt image stabilizer was used in off-axis guiding mode. In this way, it compensates for wind-shake and other common-mode telescope vibrations. The full-width half max of this image is around 0.25", as compared to the 1" acheivable with most telescopes. This is also the same as the expected performance of the Hubble Space Telescope when the NICMOS infrared camera is installed in 1997. The first diffraction ring can be clearly seen (with a different stretch, the 2nd and 3rd rings are also visible).

Last modified 3/11/97 @