Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stargazing in Antarctica

Here is a recent article about a new observatory that is on its way to Antarctica. This unmanned observatory will be used to help determine if Antarctica really is the best place (at least on Earth) for stargazing. Well, in the southern summer it sure is not with it being light all the time, but the winter with the darkness sure poses some great possibilities. Part of the tools it has to help make this decision is a tool to measure the amount of darkness (not the length of time, but rather how dark it is) and a tool to measure atmosphere turbulence. It will send the information via satellite to scientists in Australia where they can remotely control it, however most of the information it collects will have to be retrieved from it directly the following southern summer. It certainly sounds like a great new development in how astronomy is undertaken and I thought that astronomy had started to look more towards telescopes outside of our atmosphere.

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