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Astronomy from Antarctica. Anna Moore INAF: Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence. Geographically…. Antarctica is very large;. USGS image. Geosciences Australia image. … roughly twice the area of Australia. Average elevation of Antarctica: 2300 m. Contour map of Antarctica.

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slide1

Astronomy from Antarctica

Anna Moore

INAF: Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

geographically
Geographically…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

antarctica is very large
Antarctica is very large;

USGS image

Geosciences Australia image

… roughly twice the area of Australia.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

contour map of antarctica

Average elevation of Antarctica: 2300 m

Contour map of Antarctica

USGS image

Mount Kosciusko: 2,228 m

(Australia’s highest mountain)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

actual and potential observatory sites
Actual and Potential observatory sites

USGS image

  • Dome A
  • South Pole
  • Vostok
  • Dome C

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Climate…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Average wind speeds

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Katabatic wind…

… the coast is very different to the plateau

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Infrastructure …

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Terra Nova (Italia)

McMurdo (US)

The coastal bases…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica

  • + Site-testing
  • Instruments
  • AASTO and more

Amundsen Scott South Pole station ...

IR/Opt

Sub-mm

CMB

  • ASTRO
  • SPARO
  • SPIFI
  • SPIREX
  • IRPS
  • Vulcan S
  • ACBAR
  • DASI
  • VIPER
  • PYTHON

Image: Seth White

Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory (MAPO)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Site testing

  • Balloon air velocity profiles
  • DIMM
  • weather station
  • AASTINO laboratory with:
    • SODAR
    • sub-mm tipper
    • MASS
    • fibre fed optical spectrograph

The French/Italian “Concordia” Station at Dome C is now open year round ....

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Karim Agabi

slide14

Logistics…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide15

Image: John Storey

Christchurch to South Pole by Hercules...

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Image: Michael Burton

...~ 9hrs from Christchurch to coastal base or SP

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide17

From Hobart to Dome C in 8 hrs during summer via AAD jet

3.9 hrs

Dome C

Image:

Australian Antarctic Division

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Several boats leave from Hobart and travel to coastal bases in ~ 5 weeks ...

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: John Storey

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TWIN Otter for transport within Antarctica

Image: John Storey

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Currently 3 traverses per year to the DomeC site for transportation of large equipment...

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Karim Agabi

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The night sky …

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Galactic centre, LMC, SMC, 47Tuc etc. are high and constantly

  • above the horizon
  • Ecliptic is low (not so good for looking for green men on mars)

Sky above

DomeC

midwinter

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Why Astronomy …

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

1 optical ir non thermal
1. Optical/IR non-thermal…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Seeing (achievable??) is everything in optical astronomy…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide28

Wind Speed Profiles (University of Nice)

Vol 189

Vol 43

Vol 121

Altitude (Km)

Altitude (Km)

Altitude (Km)

Dome C

(Dec 2000)

Paranal ESO Chile

(1992)

Gemini NOAO Chile

(1998)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Agabi and Fossat (2003)

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Vulcan South – a search for planets around other stars

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Seth White

2 thermal ir
2. Thermal IR …

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

the infrared sky is extremely dark
The infrared sky is extremely dark
  • Kdark sky spectral brightness:
    • 220 Jy. arcsec-2 (mean)
    • 120 Jy. arcsec-2 (median)
  • This is 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than found at typical mid-latitude sites

Lawrence et al, PASA (2002)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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South Pole is 20 ~ 100 times darker than Siding Spring

Phillips et al 1999

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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However… there is no optical or IR telescope

existing or currently funded with D>1m

SPIREX, the South Pole Infrared Explorer, was a 60 cm telescope with 1024 x 1024 InSb detector array.

SPIREX demonstrated the viability of IR astronomy from Antarctica.

SPIREX was a collaboration between CARA, Ohio State University, NOAO, Rochester I.T. and UNSW.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: UNSW

3 terahertz astronomy sub mm
3. Terahertz astronomy (“sub-mm”)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

water vapour south pole
Water Vapour South Pole

Winter average PWV: 250 m

(Chamberlin, 2000; Stark et al, 2001)

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide36

Sky Noise and opacity measurements at 350µm from three sites

Peterson, Radford et al.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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The AST/RO telescope has performed unique science at South Pole for over a decade.

  • SPT, the South Pole Telescope, will be a 10m diameter terahertz telescope.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: AST/RO group

4 cmb mapping and polarisation
4. CMB mapping and polarisation

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

cosmic microwave background studies tell us about the early universe
Cosmic Microwave Background studies tell us about the early Universe.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: NASA

slide40

Experiments such as Boomerang and

  • DASI, have produced spectacular results.

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Boomerang group

4 neutrino detection
4. Neutrino detection

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide43
Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: http://icecube.wisc.edu

slide44

For further reading…

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide45

Winter DIMM seeing rumours…

  • ~1.5 arcsec seeing recorded during this winter (well that’s the number we have heard…) mean? Worst?
  • If it’s true (really must wait for UNice paper… but no-one else has! so…)
  • -> Sufficient data to suggest that the bottom 30m causes A LARGE AMOUNT
  • of this seeing
    • 1. MASS data during winter 2005
    • SODAR sees no turbulence (~30m to 1km sensitivity)
    • DIMM data taken during summer measured ~0.3arcsec seeing at
    • 500nm when favourable ground layer conditions were created at the
    • same time during the day, every day for 3 weeks

… this must be proved asap

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

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Balloon air velocity profiles (UNice)

  • DIMM UNice (GSM was planned this year??)
  • Automated weather station
  • AASTINO (UNSW) laboratory with:
    • SODAR
    • MASS

How bright is the night sky above

Dome-C, Antarctica?

Site testing with optical/IR significance

(so far… )

Anna Moore

Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence, Italy

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Karim Agabi

slide47

SCIDAR UNice (rumour)

  • Sky background in Kdark (rumour)
  • IRAIT??
  • AASTINO (UNSW) laboratory with:
    • Fibre fed optical spectrograph- optical spectrum of sky
    • Sonic anemometers placed along existing tower (Caltech- TMT)
    • Lunar SHABAR (INAF: Arcetri)
    • Gattini cameras- V band sky background, bright aurora detection and
          • cloud cover statistics, V band photometry (INAF:Arcetri)

How bright is the night sky above

Dome-C, Antarctica?

New site testing with optical/IR significance

(that were planned to operate for winter 2006 onwards)

Anna Moore

Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence, Italy

11 out of the 16 site testing instruments planned

for DomeC operation (all ls) are associated with

the AASTINO and UNSW

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Karim Agabi

slide48

Problems … the reality

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

slide49

You do require a different design philosophy

  • See less of sky
  • Less “dark time”, in particular for DomeC (lat=-75deg)
  • Ecliptic always low
  • Aurora
  • Physical isolation in winter
  • “Diamond dust”

The real disadvantages:

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

Image: Karim Agabi

slide50

IAU GA-2006 SPECIAL SESSION (SpS-P2)  Astronomy in Antarctica Prague, Czech Republic, 14-25 August 2006

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Italian Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA)

Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)

European Union RTN

University of New South Wales

Anna Moore Schloss Ringberg 28th July 2005