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Winter sky brightness and cloud cover at Dome A, Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 January 2013

Anna M. Moore
Affiliation:
Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, USA email: amoore@astro.caltech.edu
Yi Yang
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA
Jianning Fu
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Michael C. B. Ashley
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Xiangqun Cui
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology, Nanjing 210042, China
Long Long Feng
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
Xuefei Gong
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology, Nanjing 210042, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
Zhongwen Hu
Affiliation:
Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology, Nanjing 210042, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
Jon S. Lawrence
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW 2109, Australia Australian Astronomical Observatory, Sydney NSW 1710, Australia
Daniel M. Luong-Van
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Reed Riddle
Affiliation:
Caltech Optical Observatories, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, USA email: amoore@astro.caltech.edu
Zhaohui Shang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300074, China
Geoff Sims
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
John W. V. Storey
Affiliation:
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Nicholas F. H. Tothill
Affiliation:
School of Computing, Engineering & Mathematics, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia
Tony Travouillon
Affiliation:
California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, USA
Lifan Wang
Affiliation:
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843, USA Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
Huigen Yang
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
Ji Yang
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
Xu Zhou
Affiliation:
Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100012, China
Zhenxi Zhu
Affiliation:
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, China
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Abstract

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At the summit of the Antarctic plateau, Dome A offers an intriguing location for future large scale optical astronomical observatories. The Gattini Dome A project was created to measure the optical sky brightness and large area cloud cover of the winter-time sky above this high altitude Antarctic site. The wide field camera and multi-filter system was installed on the PLATO instrument module as part of the Chinese-led traverse to Dome A in January 2008. This automated wide field camera consists of an Apogee U4000 interline CCD coupled to a Nikon fisheye lens enclosed in a heated container with glass window. The system contains a filter mechanism providing a suite of standard astronomical photometric filters (Bessell B, V, R) and a long-pass red filter for the detection and monitoring of airglow emission. The system operated continuously throughout the 2009, and 2011 winter seasons and part-way through the 2010 season, recording long exposure images sequentially for each filter. We have in hand one complete winter-time dataset (2009) returned via a manned traverse. We present here the first measurements of sky brightness in the photometric V band, cloud cover statistics measured so far and an estimate of the extinction.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2013

References

Yang, H., et al. 2009, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 121, 876Google Scholar
Moore, A. M., et al. 2010, Proceedings of the SPIE, 7733Google Scholar
Sims, G., et al. 2012, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 124, 916Google Scholar
Zhou, X., et al. 2010, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 122, 889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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