Astronomical seeing from the summits of the Antarctic plateau*
School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Corresponding author: Dr. M. Burton, School of Physics, UNSW, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia, M.Burton@unsw.edu.au
Accepted: 10 January 2002
From the South Pole, microthermal turbulence within a narrow surface boundary layer some 200 m thick provides the dominant contribution to the astronomical seeing. We present results for the seeing at a wavelength of 2.4 μm. The narrow turbulence layer above the site, confined close to the surface, provides greatly superior conditions for adaptive optics correction than do temperate latitude sites. An analysis of the available meteorological data for the Antarctic plateau suggests that sites on its summit, such as Domes A and C, probably experience significantly better boundary layer seeing than does the South Pole. In addition, the inversion layers may be significantly narrower, lending the sites even further to adaptive optics correction than does the Pole.
Key words: atmospheric effects / site testing / methods: observational
© ESO, 2002