The probability <i>P</i> of getting a lucky short-exposure image through the atmosphere has been measured. This measurement was made by photographing two point sources separated by a length Δ corresponding to the resolution limit of the imaging system with an aperture <i>D</i>. <i>r</i><sub>0</sub> was measured simultaneously. The distance between the imaging system and the point sources was 6000 m. Six observers independently determined whether the sources were resolved. By changing <i>D</i>, a plot of <i>P</i> versus <i>D</i>/<i>r</i><sub>0</sub> was obtained. It is shown that In <i>P</i> ~ (<i>D</i>/<i>r</i><sub>0</sub>)<sup>2</sup>, as predicted by Fried [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 1651 (1978)].
© 1981 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article