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Dome A site testing and future plans

  • L. Spinoglio, N. Epchtein, X. Gong (a1) (a2), L. Wang (a2) (a3) (a4), X. Cui (a1) (a2), L. Feng (a5), X. Yuan (a2) (a4), M.C.B. Ashley (a6), G. Allen (a7), C.S. Bonner (a6), S.G. Bradley (a8), J.R. Everett (a6), S. Hengst (a6), J. Hu (a2) (a4), Z. Jiang (a2) (a4), C.A. Kulesa (a9), J.S. Lawrence (a6) (a10) (a11), Y. Li (a2) (a12), D.M. Luong-Van (a6), M.J. McCaughrean (a13), A.M. Moore (a14), C. Pennypacker (a15), W. Qin (a2) (a12), R. Riddle (a16), Z. Shang (a2) (a17), J.W.V. Storey (a6), B. Sun (a2) (a12), N. Suntzeff (a3), N.F.H. Tothill (a13), T. Travouillon (a16), C.K. Walker (a9), J. Yan (a2) (a5), H. Yang (a2) (a12), J. Yang (a2) (a5), D.G. York (a18), X. Zhang (a2) (a5), Z. Zhang (a2) (a12), X. Zhou (a2) (a4) and Z. Zhu (a2) (a5)...


In January 2005, members of a Chinese expedition team were the first humans to visit Dome A on the Antarctic plateau, a site predicted to be one of the very best astronomical sites on earth.
In 2006, the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy (CCAA) was founded to promote the development of astronomy in Antarctica, especially at Dome A. CCAA has since taken part in two traverses to Dome A, organized by the Polar Research Institute of China (PRIC), in the austral summers of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. These traverses resulted in the installation of many site-testing and science instruments, supported by the PLATO observatory. The Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) has produced excellent results from Dome A.
Our future plans include further site-testing work, and the following full-scale science instruments: three 0.5-m Antarctic Schmidt Telescopes (AST3), and a proposed 4-m telescope for wide-field infrared high spatial-resolution surveys. The first AST3 telescope is under construction and is scheduled for installation in 2011.


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[1] Ashley, M.C.B., et al., 2004, Astron. Nachr, Nos. 6-8, 619
[2] Ashley, M.C.B., et al., 2010, this volume
[3] Bonner, C.S., et al., 2009, Acoust. Austr., 37, 4751
[4] Cui, X., Yuan, X., & Gong, X., 2008, Proc. SPIE, 7012, 70122D
[5] Hengst, S., Allen, G.R., Ashley, M.C.B., et al., 2008, Proc. SPIE, 7012, 70124E
[6] Kulesa, C.A., et al., 2008, SPIE, 7012, 701249-1-701249-11
[7] Lawrence, J.S., Ashley, M.C.B., Tokovinin, A., & Travouillon, T., 2004, Nature, 431, 278
[8] Lawrence, J.S., Ashley, M.C.B., Hengst, S., et al., 2009, Rev. Sci. Inst., 80, 064501-1–064501-10
[9] Walker, C.K., et al., 2004, Proc. SPIE, 5489, 470
[10] Yang, H., et al., 2009, PASP, 121, 174
[11] Yuan, X., et al., 2008, Proc. SPIE, 7012, 70124G


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