AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Scintillation Reduction using Conjugate-Plane Imaging (Abstract)

Volume 45 number 2 (2017)

Gary A. Vander Haagen
Stonegate Observatory, 825 Stonegate Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; garyvh2@gmail.com


(Abstract only) All observatories are plagued by atmospheric turbulence exhibited as star scintillation or “twinkle” whether a high altitude adaptive optics research or a 30-cm amateur telescope. It is well known that these disturbances are caused by wind and temperature-driven refractive gradients in the atmosphere and limit the ultimate photometric resolution of land-based facilities. One approach identified by Fuchs (1998) for scintillation noise reduction was to create a conjugate image space at the telescope and focus on the dominant conjugate turbulent layer within that space. When focused on the turbulent layer little or no scintillation exists. This technique is described whereby noise reductions of 6 to 11/1 have been experienced with mathematical and optical bench simulations. Discussed is a proof-of-principle conjugate optical train design for an 80-mm, f7 telescope.