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Session 48 - Workshop on the Future of Antarctic Astrophysics - I.
Topical, Oral session, Wednesday, June 10

[48.07] South Pole Site Quality in the 225GHz and 490GHz mm and sub-mm bands

R. A. Chamberlin (Caltech Submillimeter Observatory)

The South Pole is high, dry, and cold, and is therefore a very good site for performing sub-mm astronomy. In addition, the absence of 24 hour diurnal variations, and the stable weather pattern set up over the Antarctic continent, combine give the sky over the site unparalled temporal stability.

Here we present data from 1992 and 1995 which demonstrate the exceptionally good qualities of the site. The 1992 data set was obtained from an NRAO 225GHz heterodyne radiometer, and the 1995 data set was obtained using 230GHz and 492GHz heterodyne receivers on the AST/RO radio telescope. The data sets were compared to measurements from radiosonde soundings to quantify the opacity dependence on water vapor and also to quantify the dry-air opacity. At this very dry site, the dry air opacity is shown to be a significant fraction of the total observed opacity.

If time permits, we will also show some aeronomy results obtained using the AST/RO instrument. These results include measurements of the telluric carbon monoxide (CO) column abundance; measurements of the mesospheric wind velocity derived from observing small doppler shifts in CO; and measurements of the spectra from stratospheric ozone.

This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement with the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA), grant number NSF OPP 89-20223. CARA is a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.

Program listing for Wednesday