I am aware that there are adaptive imaging techniques for amateur astronomers. But these methods correct an image on a screen. This is nice, but to me the real lure of amateur astronomy is the act of seeing an object through the eyepiece, not on some computer screen. Are there any deformable-mirror technologies available for consumer-grade telescopes that would allow for direct viewing of the object with correction?

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting question! It would be great if you could mention something more about the methods you are aware of. Is it possible to include a link to an example or cite a source? Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 29, 2020 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ As I know instead of deformable mirrors, you may also employ a phase-only sptial light modulator (SLM) to do adaptive optics; However, the speed of such SLMs is limited to the V-sync signal (60 Hz), not to mention the algorihtimic latency. These deformable devices are expensive, usually cost several thousand USDs. $\endgroup$
    – WDC
    Jul 29, 2020 at 17:00
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe a partcicularly enthusiastic (and ridiculously rich) amateuer or club has a segmented mirror telecope together with the necessary control and actuator units in a robotic cupola controllable via internet from the chair at a warm fireplace. It'll probably be a one off. Out of the question for me. But several camera systems have their more or less proprietary solutions to move an additional chunk of glass or the sensor in real time. $\endgroup$
    – user34599
    Jul 29, 2020 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @a_donda are those just for image stabilization (pointing) and/or focus, or can those do higher order wavefront corrections? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 29, 2020 at 23:13
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I had the sbig ao-x in mind (no ad, it's effectiveness is being discussed). Nope, just first order correction, like tilting of the image. "Active" is probably the bettrer term. And it adds another kg to the train of correction, off axis guider, filter wheel, camera etc. $\endgroup$
    – user34599
    Jul 29, 2020 at 23:50


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