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B. Adaptive Optics on the Keck II Telescope

Narrator: This is Science Today. Astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley have witnessed the largest eruption in the solar system on Jupiter's moon, Io. Franck Marchis, a co-leader of the team, explains how adaptive optic technology on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii allowed for this discovery.

Marchis: Adaptive optics is a new technique, which is installed on the new telescopes now. And it's allowed us to collect in real time the effect of the turbulence, or the atmospheric turbulence of our atmosphere.

Narrator: Marchis says that by using a system of mirrors, adaptive optics can effectively remove the twinkle from the stars and stabilize a high-resolution image, making it the premiere technology for viewing thermal activity in space.

Marchis: So this kind of eruption is not possible to see without adaptive optics. We need this kind of system to see it because you need high resolution. Because we observe from the ground in multi-wavelengths - that means in different colors of infrared, we get information about the thermal eruption.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.