Where is the Best Site on Earth? Domes A, B, C, and F, and Ridges A and B.
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The Antarctic plateau contains the best sites on earth for many forms of astronomy, but none of the existing bases were selected with astronomy as the primary motivation. In this paper, we try to systematically compare the merits of potential observatory sites. We include South Pole, Domes A, C and F, and also Ridge B (running NE from Dome A), and what we call Ridge A (running SW from Dome A). Our analysis combines satellite data, published results and atmospheric models, to compare the boundary layer, weather, free atmosphere, sky brightness, pecipitable water vapour, and surface temperature at each site. We find that all Antarctic sites are likely compromised for optical work by airglow and aurorae. Of the sites with existing bases, Dome A is the best overall; but we find that Ridge A offers an even better site. We also find that Dome F is a remarkably good site. Dome C is less good as a thermal infrared or terahertz site, but would be able to take advantage of a predicted OH hole over Antarctica during Spring.
- Document ID: 20090035727.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 15996501