Astigmatism

Astigmatism

About Astigmatism

An optical system with astigmatism is one where rays that propagate in two perpendicular planes have different foci. If an optical system with astigmatism is used to form an image of a cross, the vertical and horizontal lines will be in sharp focus at two different distances. There are two distinct forms of astigmatism. The first is a third-order aberration, which occurs for objects (or parts of objects) away from the optical axis. This form of aberration occurs even when the optical system is perfectly symmetrical. This is often referred to as a 'monochromatic aberration', because it occurs even for light of a single wavelength. This terminology may be misleading, however, as the amount of aberration can vary strongly with wavelength in an optical system. The second form of astigmatism occurs when the optical system is not symmetric about the optical axis.