Distant Worlds: Making Images of Other Solar Systems

Distant Worlds: Making Images of Other Solar Systems

First Aired: 1/25/2011

Length: 53 minutes


Adaptive optics makes images of distant solar systems.
 
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400 years ago, our world-view changed when Galileo proved that the Earth was not the center of the universe but orbits around the Sun. 15 years ago the world shifted again when the first planets were discovered orbiting other stars. Last year, using adaptive optics and the 10 meter W.M. Keck telescope in Hawaii, a Lawrence Livermore National Lab team produced the first ever picture of another solar system. One day, these techniques may even lead to an image with a pale blue dot circling a nearby star - another Earth. Join LLNL astronomer Bruce Macintosh and Lisa Poyneer as they describe the new technologies that made these pictures possible.
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