Adaptive optics

the branch of optics that compensates for image distortions, especially by means of flexible mirrors or membranes.
noun (functioning as sing)
a technique used to increase the resolution of a ground-based astronomical telescope by counteracting the effects of the atmosphere on the image. A deforming mirror in the light path of the telescope maintains a pointlike image of the celestial body using either a real star or a laser beam as a reference

a process which compensates for image distortions in telescopes caused by the atmosphere etc., esp. by use of flexible membranes or mirrors

In adaptive optics, a wavefront sensor uses a reference star to measure the distortions that are occurring and the distortions are then removed with a phase corrector.
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