6 July 2018 Performance of the second Antarctic Survey Telescope at Dome A
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Abstract
Due to its extremely cold, dry, tenuous, and stable atmosphere, the Antarctica plateau is widely considered to be an excellent astronomical site. The long periods of uninterrupted darkness at polar sites such as Dome A provide a possibility of continuous observation for more than 3 months, which is quite suitable for time-domain astronomy. The second Antarctic Survey Telescope (AST3-2), the largest optical telescope in Antarctica so far, is a 0.5m entrance diameter large field of view optical imaging telescope which was deployed to Dome A, Antarctic in January 2015. It was used to study variable objects, such as supernova explosions and the afterglow of gamma-ray bursts, and to search for extrasolar planets. For the remoteness of the Antarctic plateau, it is designed to observe autonomously and operate remotely via satellite communication. With only 20 days attending maintenance annually, it has experienced 3 winters. It has observed for 3months in 2015 and 4 months in 2016. In the third year of 2017, the observing time of AST3-2 has covered all the polar night from March to September, the data reached to nearly 30TB with more than 200,000 exposures for searching supernovas and exoplanets. AST3-2 was also the only one telescope in the Antarctic plate that joined the optical observations of LIGO GW170817.
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X. Y. Li, X. Y. Li, S. H. Yang, S. H. Yang, F. J. Du, F. J. Du, Z. Y. Li, Z. Y. Li, X. Y. Yuan, X. Y. Yuan, B. Z. Gu, B. Z. Gu, } "Performance of the second Antarctic Survey Telescope at Dome A", Proc. SPIE 10700, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VII, 107005P (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2311291; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2311291
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