Stargazing is more than just a hobby for some people. For astronomers, it’s a profession, so they take it very seriously. So much so that they went to distant Antarctica for the best view.
There is a place on this continent with perfect conditions for capturing images of the night sky with little or no atmospheric influence, as the researchers revealed in a 2020 paper in the journal Science. nature.
Shine, shine, little star
Looking at the sky, it seems like the stars are shining all the time. This effect is caused by our atmosphere, which reflects the light emitted by the stars. And it’s not just our eyes that sense these oscillations.
The best ground-based telescopes also suffer from the deflection of radiation emitted by the suns, hindering the research of many astronomers. But not on the plateau south of Australia’s Davis Antarctic Station.
At an altitude of 4,000 meters above sea level, in the region called Dome A, the atmosphere is fairly stable – far more than anywhere else on the planet. That’s why an international research team placed a telescope there.
This device, called KunLun Differential Image Motion Monitor, was placed on an 8-meter platform. It reaches a maximum height of 30 meters – high enough to reach the most suitable area for observation where the wind turbulence is very small.
But it’s not all rosy, says Michael Ashley, a UNSW professor involved in the project. In a note, he says the first observations in the middle of the Antarctic winter were difficult.
It also explains why the effort was well worth it. Compared to space satellites, “One advantage of making Earth observations is that you can always add new technology to your telescope. In space, everything is behind schedule.”
ARTICLE Nature: doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2489-0
Source: Tec Mundo
I am Bret Jackson, a professional journalist and author for Gadget Onus, where I specialize in writing about the gaming industry. With over 6 years of experience in my field, I have built up an extensive portfolio that ranges from reviews to interviews with top figures within the industry. My work has been featured on various news sites, providing readers with insightful analysis regarding the current state of gaming culture.