17 July 2008 Submillimeter observing conditions on Cerro Chajnantor
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Abstract
Consistently superb observing conditions are crucial for achieving the scientific objectives of a ground based telescope. For observations at submillimeter wavelengths, choosing a site with very little atmospheric water vapor is paramount. In northern Chile, the high Andes near San Pedro de Atacama are among the highest and driest places on Earth. At the 5000 m Chajnantor plateau, long term measurements have demonstrated observing conditions are excellent for submillimeter astronomy. Even better conditions prevail on higher mountain peaks in the vicinity. For the CCAT, we have selected a candidate site at 5612 m near the summit of Cerro Chajnantor. Radiosonde measurements, meteorological data, and measurements of the 350 Consistently superb observing conditions are crucial for achieving the scientific objectives of a ground based telescope. For observations at submillimeter wavelengths, choosing a site with very little atmospheric water vapor is paramount. In northern Chile, the high Andes near San Pedro de Atacama are among the highest and driest places on Earth. At the 5000 m Chajnantor plateau, long term measurements have demonstrated observing conditions are excellent for submillimeter astronomy. Even better conditions prevail on higher mountain peaks in the vicinity. For the CCAT, we have selected a candidate site at 5612 m near the summit of Cerro Chajnantor. Radiosonde measurements, meteorological data, and measurements of the 350 μm transparency all indicate submillimeter observing conditions are consistently better at the CCAT site than at the plateau. transparency all indicate submillimeter observing conditions are consistently better at the CCAT site than at the plateau.
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Simon J. E. Radford, Simon J. E. Radford, Riccardo Giovanelli, Riccardo Giovanelli, George E. Gull, George E. Gull, Charles P. Henderson, Charles P. Henderson, } "Submillimeter observing conditions on Cerro Chajnantor", Proc. SPIE 7012, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes II, 70121Z (17 July 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.789335; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.789335
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