Where is the best place to observe the stars from Earth with the help of technology? An international team led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences answered this astronomical question in an article published on July 29, 2020 in the journal.

“Significantly reduced” star flicker

Of course, stars can be observed from any point on Earth as long as the sky is clear. But they sparkle. This phenomenon may seem normal, even enchanting, but it nevertheless hinders the observation of the stars. It actually results from turbulence that shakes the Earth’s atmosphere. These flicker the starlight that reaches us after having traveled several light years. The researchers therefore set out to find a place on Earth where this deformation is not or hardly visible. This astronomer’s paradise is located south of the Australian station Davis, in Antarctica, on a plateau 4000 meters above sea level. It is baptized Dôme A.

Dome A is the highest point in the Central Antarctic Plateau region, and the atmosphere is extremely stable there, much more so than anywhere else on Earth. The result is that the flickering of the stars is drastically reduced and the star images are much sharper and brighter.“, welcomes Professor Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales (Australia), co-author of the study. The plateau is an almost flat surface for hundreds of kilometers around. The atmosphere is then very stable and the wind blows slowly. The only problem is a thin layer of air located just above the ice surface and which generates interference due to temperature gradients. , the telescope was mounted on a p[…]”data-reactid =” 26 “> Researchers designed, built and installed a telescope on this plateau to assess the quality of observations from this point.”Dome A is the highest point in the Central Antarctic Plateau region, and the atmosphere is extremely stable there, much more so than anywhere else on Earth. The result is that the flickering of the stars is drastically reduced and the star images are much sharper and brighter.“, welcomes Professor Michael Ashley of the University of New South Wales (Australia), co-author of the study. The plateau is an almost flat surface for hundreds of kilometers around. The atmosphere is then very stable and the wind blows slowly. The only problem is a thin layer of air located just above the ice surface and which generates interference due to temperature gradients. , the telescope was mounted on a p[…]

Read more on sciencesetavenir.fr” data-reactid=”27″>Read more on sciencesetavenir.fr

Read also