Skip to comments.A Telescope at the Bottom of the World
Posted on 04/18/2013 8:23:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Kulesa and his team communicate with the telescope remotely via satellite, sending it new orders and instructions throughout the year, and downloading new data. They also keep a watchful eye on their experiment through a webcam, which sends image updates from roughly 9,000 miles away roughly every hour.
Why Antarctica, though?
Even the smallest amount of water vapor in Earth's atmosphere absorbs terahertz-frequency light from space before it reaches a telescope on Earth...
From Tucson, Kulesa said, it's about 5-10 millimeters deep in winter and up to 40 millimeters deep during monsoon season in summer. At the telescope site in Antarctica, a place called Ridge A, atmospheric water vapor is frequently one-tenth of a millimeter or less...
Once a year, the team visits the telescope to replace parts and make adjustments or repairs. Working in -40 degree Fahrenheit summer weather at a pressure altitude of 15,000 feet is not exactly a walk in the park, Kulesa said...
At Ridge A, a laptop computer typically stops working within 10 minutes of being exposed to the elements.
Despite the difficulties of experimental setup, Kulesa said: "The Ridge A site was selected from satellite measurements that said it would be essentially the best place to put an astronomical observatory on the entire planet. And it appears to be holding true: It's the driest, coldest and one of the highest and calmest places on Earth. It's about as close to space-like conditions as you can get and still have your feet on the ground."
(Excerpt) Read more at scientificcomputing.com ...
Thanks null and void!
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Good find, thanks!
Interesting article..sure don`t have to worry
about the site being vandalized
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