According to new research from an international team from China, Australia and the University of British Columbia (UBC), stars at night can offer a clear view of the Earth. the challenge? The location is one of the coldest and most remote places on Earth. The findings were published today Nature.
“A telescope at Dome A could demonstrate a similar telescope located at another astronomical site on the planet,” said study co-author UBC astronomer Paul Hickson. “The combination of high altitude, low temperature, prolonged continuous darkness and an exceptionally stable environment make Dome A a very attractive location for optical and infrared astronomy. A telescope located there has sharp images and faint. Can detect objects. “
One of the biggest challenges in Earth-based astronomy is the elimination of the effect of atmospheric turbulence on telescope image quality. This turbulence flickers the stars, and the measurement of its effect is referred to as ‘seeing’. Less turbulence (less number of views) is better.
UBC astronomer Bin Ma, the lead author on the paper, said, “The thin boundary layer on Dome A is less challenging to detect a telescope above it, allowing greater access to free environments.”
Currently, the highest-performing observatories are located in high altitude locations along the equator (Chile and Hawaii ‘) and offer views in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 arseconds. In general, the Antarctic has better viewing ability, due to the weak turbulence in the free atmosphere, with an approximate range of 0.23 to 0.36 arseconds at a place called Dome C.
Ma, Hickson and colleagues from China and Australia evaluated a different location, Dom A – also known as Dom Argus. Dome A is located 1,200 kilometers inland, near the center of East Antartica.
The researchers speculated that the location has a thin boundary layer (the lowest part of the atmosphere, which is affected by friction from the Earth’s surface) compared to Dome C. The previous measurement is taken from day A, but the authors report a median. Night time is reduced to 0.13 arseconds, given the 0.31 arseconds.
Measurements from Dome A, taken at a height of eight meters, were better than those at Dome C from the same height and those at Dome C at a height of 20 meters.
Not surprisingly, the researchers’ viewing ability of the devices was also hampered by frost – overcoming the issue could improve viewing by 10 to 12 percent. But according to Ma the site is promising.
“Our telescope monitors the sky completely automatically at an unmanned station in Antarctica for seven months, with the air temperature dropping several times to -75C. By itself, this is a technological breakthrough.”
Stove, dome and parasol effects of atmospheric aerosols in planetary boundary layer
Ma, B, Shang, Z, Hu, Y et al. Nighttime viewing of astronomical in Dome A of Antarctica. Nature 583, 771–774 (2020). doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2489-0
Provided by University of British Columbia
Quotes: Astronomers point to the best place on Earth for binoculars: an Antarctic Antarctic plateau on high (2020, July 29) at https://phys.org/news/2020-07-astomomers-earth-telescope-high Retrieved from 29 July 2020. -frigid.html
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