ESO’s Adaptive Optics Facility (AOF), a VLT project, is set to provide the instruments on Unit Telescope 4 (UT4) with adaptive optics, starting with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE). The AOF – which uses a number of PI translation stages – corrects image distortion due to light from stars and galaxies travelling through the earth’s atmosphere. This image distortion – or blurring – effect is what causes stars to twinkle to the naked eye. Fundamentally, the AOF system is equivalent to raising the VLT about 900 metres in the air, above the most turbulent layer of the atmosphere. This compensates for turbulence at different altitudes, making it possible for ground-based telescopes to capture visible wavelength images that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Previously, the only ways to obtain sharper images were to find a better location or use a space telescope but, with the AOF, better conditions can be created on the existing site – and at a fraction of the cost. The combination of image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will allow astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than ever before. Astronomers can even get superb images when the weather conditions are not perfect.