Pasta Action Group

Plateau Astronomical Site Testing in Antarctica

A new Action Group has been formed under the auspices of the new Standing Scientific Group on Physical Sciences of SCAR.

Title: Plateau Astronomical Site-Testing in Antarctica (PASTA) Action Group

Leader: Michael Ashley, University of NSW, Australia

Co-Leader: Eric Fossat, University of Nice, France

Supporting Countries: Support for the establishment of this Action Group has been expressed by delegates from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine, USA.

Summary: The Plateau Astronomical Site-Testing Action Group will coordinate efforts to more properly characterize Antarctic sites for astronomy.

Scientific rationale: See AAA Expert Group. The PASTA Action Group will have the responsibility of delivering and compiling the site-testing data requested by the AAA Expert Group.

Specific tasks and deliverables:

o       Site testing data from potential sites on the high Antarctic plateau. Such data will include:

        • Turbulence properties of the atmosphere
        • Meteorological parameters
        • IR sky brightness
        • Mm and sub-mm transmission and sky brightness
        • UV/visible transmission and sky brightness
        • Solar and stellar images

o       Technology to allow improved measurements of site parameters.

Sites to be studied include, but should not be limited to, Dome C, Dome A and Vostok.


2002 4 Dome C
2004 6 Vostok and Dome A

Resource implications:

The proposed PASTA Action Group relies, for the most part, on national resources. Meetings of PASTA Group members have so far taken place at the special session on Antarctic Astronomy at the IAU General Assembly in July 2003 in Sydney, Australia and at the SCAR Congress in July 2004 in Bremen

Modest funding is sought for 2004 to support travel to assist with coordination.

Last Updated: 02 December 2005