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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 1265
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Lisa C at AccuWeather.com wrote:
There is a faraway place on our planet where there is little to no wind, the air is dry, and the weather is almost always clear; temperatures in the winter average about -95 degrees Fahrenheit, but as far as astronomers are concerned, it is the perfect place for an observatory. A team from the US and Australia have studied the area by way of satellite and ground station data, as well as climate models, to learn what the climate was like at the site, known simply as Ridge A. Ridge A is located on the Antarctic Plateau, some 13,300 feet up near what is known as Dome A (Argus), and the conditions there are some of the most calm, if not the most calm, on this planet. The calmness of the atmosphere would mean lack of turbulence, which is great since turbulence is often the cause of distortion in observation images and the overall "seeing" when looking through a telescope. Since the conditions at Ridge A may just be the best in the world for observing, an observatory there would not require an enormous telescope; a moderately-sized scope could produce images three times sharper than the "best" sites being used right now. Interest in Antarctica for observing has skyrocketed in the last five years since it has been reported that a site at "Dome C" on the plateau could produce images nearly as good as those coming from Hubble! A recent study into the building of an optical/Infrared PILOT telescope discusses the issues with building and maintaining of such an observatory. The construction is planned to begin in 2012 at the French/Italian Concordia Station at Dome C.

Keep your eyes to the sky and enjoy the view!
~Lisa C.
AccuWeather.com Astronomy Center

What do you think Ice... need a helper?



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 9296
Location: Aurora CO
Haven't heard anything about domes A or C in the US Program. All of our Scopes are at South Pole, over in the Dark Sector, (an area of observatories off to one side of the rest of the station about 1/8 mile). No outside lights in the winter.

We, Raytheon Polar Services Co. don't run these scopes. We just build them, and provide all the logistices for the Science Community who do the running of them. You might want to call some of the univercities that work down there. :wink:

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