Volume 430, Number 2, February I 2005
|Page(s)||739 - 746|
|Published online||20 January 2005|
An analysis of temperatures and wind speeds above Dome C, Antarctica
Laboratoire Universitaire d'Astrophysique de Nice, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice Cedex 2, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia e-mail: email@example.com
3 Department of Geography, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA
Accepted: 24 September 2004
A good astronomical site must fulfill several criteria including low atmospheric turbulence and low wind speeds. It is therefore important to have a detailed knowledge of the temperature and wind conditions of a location considered for future astronomical research. Antarctica has unique atmospheric conditions that have already been exploited at the South Pole station. Dome C, a site located on a local maximum of the Antarctic plateau, is likely to have even better conditions. In this paper we present the analysis of two decades of wind speed measurements taken at Dome C by an automated weather station (AWS). We also present temperature and wind speed profiles taken over four Antarctic summers using balloon-borne weather sondes. We will show that as well as having one of the lowest average wind speed ever recorded at an existing or potential observatory, Dome C also has an extremely stable upper atmosphere and a very low inversion layer.
Key words: site testing / atmospheric effects / balloons
© ESO, 2005
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