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Opportunities for Terahertz Facilities on the High Plateau

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2013

Craig A. Kulesa
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721USA email: ckulesa@email.arizona.edu
Michael C.B. Ashley
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Yael Augarten
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Colin S. Bonner
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Michael G. Burton
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Luke Bycroft
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Jon Lawrence
Affiliation:
Australian Astronomical Observatory, PO Box 915, North Ryde, NSW 1670, Australia
David H. Lesser
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721USA email: ckulesa@email.arizona.edu
John Loomis
Affiliation:
Raytheon Polar Services Company, US Antarctic Program
Daniel M. Luong-Van
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Christopher L. Martin
Affiliation:
Physics and Astronomy Department, Oberlin College, 110 N. Professor St., Oberlin, OH 44074, USA
Campbell McLaren
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Shawntel Stapleton
Affiliation:
Raytheon Polar Services Company, US Antarctic Program
John W.V. Storey
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Brandon J. Swift
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721USA email: ckulesa@email.arizona.edu
Nicholas F.H. Tothill
Affiliation:
University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Christopher K. Walker
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721USA email: ckulesa@email.arizona.edu
Abram G. Young
Affiliation:
Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721USA email: ckulesa@email.arizona.edu
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Abstract

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While the summit of the Antarctic Plateau has long been expected to harbor the best ground-based sites for terahertz (THz) frequency astronomical investigations, it is only recently that direct observations of exceptional THz atmospheric transmission and stability have been obtained. These observations, in combination with recent technological advancements in astronomical instrumentation and autonomous field platforms, make the recognition and realization of terahertz observatories on the high plateau feasible and timely. Here, we will explore the context of terahertz astronomy in the era of Herschel, and the crucial role that observatories on the Antarctic Plateau can play. We explore the important scientific questions to which observations from this unique environment may be most productively applied. We examine the importance and complementarity of Antarctic THz astronomy in the light of contemporary facilities such as ALMA, CCAT, SOFIA and (U)LDB ballooning. Finally, building from the roots of THz facilities in Antarctica to present efforts, we broadly highlight future facilities that will exploit the unique advantages of the Polar Plateau and provide a meaningful, lasting astrophysical legacy.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2013

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