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.