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Dome A site testing and future plans

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

X. Gong*
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing 210042, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy
L. Wang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Physics Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
X. Cui
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, Nanjing 210042, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy
L. Feng
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
X. Yuan
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
M.C.B. Ashley
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
G. Allen
Affiliation:
Solar Mobility Pty Ltd., Thornleigh, NSW 2120, Australia
C.S. Bonner
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
S.G. Bradley
Affiliation:
Physics Department, University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
J.R. Everett
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
S. Hengst
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
J. Hu
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Z. Jiang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
C.A. Kulesa
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
J.S. Lawrence
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia Department of Physics and Engineering, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia Anglo-Australian Observatory, NSW 1710, Australia
Y. Li
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
D.M. Luong-Van
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
M.J. McCaughrean
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK
A.M. Moore
Affiliation:
Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
C. Pennypacker
Affiliation:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
W. Qin
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
R. Riddle
Affiliation:
Thirty Meter Telescope Project, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Z. Shang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China
J.W.V. Storey
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, NSW 2052, Australia
B. Sun
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
N. Suntzeff
Affiliation:
Physics Department, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
N.F.H. Tothill
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QL, UK
T. Travouillon
Affiliation:
Thirty Meter Telescope Project, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
C.K. Walker
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
J. Yan
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
H. Yang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
J. Yang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
D.G. York
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and The Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
X. Zhang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
Z. Zhang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Polar Research Institute of China, Pudong, Shanghai 200136, China
X. Zhou
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Z. Zhu
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
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Abstract

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.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EAS, EDP Sciences, 2010

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