Abstract

Assuming that the complex amplitude of the wave at the focus of a large telescope is Gaussian and making use of a technique of orthonormal expansion, we give a mathematical expression for the characteristic function of any order of the speckle pattern of an extended astronomical object as the inverse of the determinant of a matrix whose elements are defined by the spatial correlation function of the amplitude of the point-source speckle pattern and a diagonal matrix representing the astronomical object. This mathematical model is intended to be used in an inverse procedure to find the object most compatible with the observed spatial statistical properties. An example of application is given for a double star.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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