CAASTRO hosts ‘Astronomy in Antarctica’ workshop

Aug 13, 2012

Wide-field Optical Astronomy from Antarctica: a Chinese-Australian Workshop

In January this year, China installed the first of three 0.5 metre wide-field (1.5x2.9 degree) optical imaging telescopes, AST3-1, at the highest point of the Antarctic plateau.

Australia is currently involved in Dome A activities through UNSW’s PLATO-A, which will be the primary support platform for AST3, and through equipment to characterise the infrared background and cloud cover at Dome A.

The objective of this workshop is to define a plan for Australian contribution to the commencement of significant scientific output from this project.


Sunday 12 August 2012: Pre-workshop dinner

Monday 13 August 2012, 10am – 5pm:

  1. Introduction: Advantages of Antarctica for optical surveys
  2. Summary of facilities at Dome A
  3. Current AST3 data examples
  4. Summary of main Chinese science programs using AST3
  5. Timetable of retrieval of data from Dome A
  6. Australian facilities and capabilities (eg. AAT, ASKAP)
  7. Australian participant contribution – potential science opportunities in Antarctica
  8. Chinese-Australian collaboration pathways
  9. Future Chinese Plans for Dome A

Item 7 on this agenda calls for contributions from participants to present potential science projects that could utilise AST3 data. AST3-1 has obtained 3.3 TB of data over 4 months of operations in the first half of 2012 which will be available next year.

If you would like to make a 10-min contribution, please indicate a title on registration. Abstracts can be emailed by 31 July 2012.

Attendance is free for all participants. Registrations close on the 31st July 2012.