RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Friday, 08 March 2019, 14:00-14:30; CSO Common Room

Stephanie Monty

"Adaptive Optics Work & Resolved Stellar Population Studies: Towards the Next Generation VLT Instrument MAVIS (Thesis Proposal talk)"

Adaptive optics (AO) has revolutionized astronomical instrumentation, beginning in 1953 with a technologically impossible concept and culminating in the implementation of AO systems on almost all 8m-class telescopes. Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) pushes the classical AO concept to the mechanical and computational limit, providing near-diffraction limited angular resolution across a wide field of view. Unfortunately both current and future MCAO systems, including those planned for the next generation of extremely large telescopes, are limited in their wavelength coverage, only correcting light in the near-infrared regime (1-2.5 microns). The MCAO Assisted Visible Imager and Spectrograph (MAVIS) is set to change that. MAVIS is a proposed third generation instrument for the ESO VLT UT4 that will perform AO corrections from 450-980 nm, making it the first MCAO system to operate in the visible. In this thesis proposal talk I will discuss my planned PhD work both on a key MAVIS AO subsystem, and building three of the major science cases for MAVIS using existing data: resolved stellar populations beyond the local group, crowded field photometry and spectroscopy and precision astrometry and proper motions.