The Hubble Space Telescope's position above the earth's atmosphere enables it to provide clearer pictures of the heavens. Now, with the first integrated test of adaptive optics, ground-based telescopes - visibility through which remained affected till date due to atmospheric turbulence - could do as well. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) scientists K Waltjen and C Max have tested a new system which allows the mirror of a telescope to adapt its shape to compensate for atmosphere- generated distortions with the help of a laser beam (Science, Vol 270, October 20, 1995).
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