ChAOS Laser Beacon!

At 3:45am MST on December 16, 1995, ChAOS first propagated its sodium laser beacon into the sky at Apache Point Observatory. This laser will serve as a source of artificial "guide stars" which will allow us to use our adaptive optics system on virtually any object in the sky. These photos show the first launch of our laser beacon. The laser was operating at roughly 6 Watts in these photos (less than its available power). Unfortunately, we did not have time during this run (see ChAOS Adventure) to perform photometry on the resulting artificial star, but calculations predict a 9th magnitude artificial star for an 8W beam.

Left: Another view of the sodium laser beacon

Right: Edward Kibblewhite adjusts the laser beam

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