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High on a cold Antarctic plateau



Astronomers point to the best place on Earth for a telescope: High on a refrigerator Antarctic plate

The highest ice dome on the Antarctic Plateau may offer the clearest view of the night star Earth, according to new research by an international team from China, Australia and the United States. -University of British Columbia. Credit: Zhaohui Shang

au, may offer the clearest view of the night star world, according to new research by an international team from China, Australia and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The challenge? The place is one of the coldest and most remote places on Earth. The findings were published today at Nature.

“A telescope located in dome A can carry a similar telescope located at any other astronomical site on the planet,” said UBC astronomer Paul Hickson, co-author of the study. “The combination of high altitude, low temperature, long periods of continuous darkness, and an exceptionally stable atmosphere, makes the Dome A a very attractive place for optical and infrared astronomy. The telescope in it has a stronger image. and can detect bad items. “

One of the biggest challenges in Earth-based astronomy is overcoming the effect of atmospheric turbulence on the image quality of the telescope. This turbulence makes the stars twinkle, and its impact measurement is called ‘seeing’. The more turbulence (the less the number it sees) the better.

“The thinner boundary layer in Dome A makes it less challenging to find a telescope above it, thus giving greater access to the free atmosphere,” said UBC astronomer Bin Ma, lead author on the -card.

Currently, the highest-performing observatories are located at high-altitude locations along the equator (Chile and Hawai̵

7;i) and offer viewing in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 arkseconds. Overall, the Antarctic has the potential to be seen better, due to weaker turbulence in the free atmosphere, with an estimated range of 0.23 to 0.36 arcseconds at a location called Dome C.

Astronomers point to the best place on Earth for a telescope: High on a refrigerator Antarctic plate

The highest ice dome on the Antarctic Plateau may offer the clearest view of the night star Earth, according to new research by an international team from China, Australia and the United States. -University of British Columbia. Credit: Zhaohui Shang

Ma, Hickson and her colleagues in China and Australia evaluated a different location, dome A – also referred to as Dome Argus. Dome A is located near the center of East Antarctica, 1,200 kilometers inland.

The researchers estimated that the site has a thinner boundary layer (the lower part of the atmosphere, which is influenced by friction from the Earth’s surface) from dome C. Previous measurements from the dome A were taken during the day, but the authors report a median Evening night view of 0.31 arcseconds, reaching 0.13 arcseconds.

Measurements from dome A, taken at a height of eight meters, were much better than those from the same height on dome C and comparable to those at a height of 20 meters in dome C.

Not surprisingly, the researchers ’equipment’s visual capabilities were also hampered by frost – overcoming this issue could improve your viewing by 10 to 12 percent. But the site has promise, according to Ma.

“Our telescope observed the sky automatically at an unmanned Antarctic station for seven months, with the air temperature of -75C sometimes dropping. In itself, that’s a technological advancement. . ”


Stoves, dome, and atmospheric aerosol umbrella effects in the planetary boundary layer


More information:
Ma, B., Shang, Z., Hu, Y. et al. Measurement of night time of astronomical watching in dome A in Antarctica. Nature 583, 771–774 (2020). doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2489-0

Provided by the University of British Columbia



Citation: Astronomers designate Earth’s best place for telescope: High on Antarctic plate refrigerator (2020, July 29) obtained on July 29, 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020 -07-astronomers-earth-telescope-high -frigid.html

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