Dome Crdvery promising site

Location:Antarctic highPlateau Altitude:3233metres

for astrophysics
The dream of astronomersis to observefrom an ideal,highly transparentand stablesite,far awayfrom any sourcesof human pollution.On the Antarctic Plateau, Dome C benefitsfrom exceptional which conditions atmospheric make it particularlypromisingfor astronomy,in between sPace and the best current ground-based observatories. the For severalapplications, station Concordia French-ltalian and spacemissions could challenge of allow the deployment much larger instrumentsat lower cost. Thus,a programmeto qualif the site for astronomyis carried out since2000 by various international teams.
Lowest temperature "C recorded: - 81.9 Very little absorption or scattering (aerosols, water vapour) in the atmosphere Low wind at ground level

Minimol disturbance from the otrnosphere ond far from lightond chemicalpollution by coused humon or volconicoctivities Cold,dryond stoble to occess otmosphere.' ond new wavelengths the obilityto image objectsot ostrophysicol higherongulor resolution to Uniqueopportunity monitorcontinuously and the photometric spectrometric of variotions the Sun and stors overseverol months'

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Latitude:75" South Clear sky: more than 85 % of the time Tirrbulent layer of approximately 30-metre height

No odditionalspurious by light caused the during ouroro observotions

An ambitious proiect for
the next decade
betweenthe stotion hos been built under o biloterolcolloborotion The Concordio Sincethe first IPEVond PNM, respecavely. Frenchond ltolion Polor Agencies, yeor-round the interiorof in in winterover 2005,it is one of threestotionsoperoted theAntoraic continenL

22 oartners
United Kingdom . University of Exeter Belgium . Université de Liège . AMOS, Liège Germany . MPIA,Heidelberg . AstrophysikalischesInstitut Potsdam . DLR, Berlin

Australia . University of New South Wales, France . CNRS (coordinator),Nice . lnstitut Paul EmileVictor, Brest . Observatoire de Paris . CFA| Saclay . SESO,Aix en Provence . ThalesAlenia Space,Toulouse . SHAKTIWARE, Marseille Portugal . Centro deAstrofisica da Universidade do Spain . Universidad de Granada . CSIC.Barcelona . lnstituto deAstrofisica de Canarias, La

. INAE Roma . Università degli Studi di Perugia . Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide' Bologna

ARENA is a consortium of 22 European and Australian partners research includingpolar institutes, laboratoriesand industrialcompanies, funded by the EuropeanCommissionfor a period of 4 yearsstârting in 2006.The of Laboratory H. Fizeau CNRS locatedat Antipolis the Universityof Nice Sophia coordinatesthis network.lts main objectiveis to set up an ambitious programmeof developmentfor an internationalastronomical observatory, including: .The assessment of Dome C for of astronomy and the dissemination the datathrough the Internet, site qualification .The identification of the key astrophysical programmes that would take maximum benefitfrom the site in synergywith other largeground-based and observatories spacemission{ .The characterization and preliminary studies of large instrumentsunder the constraintsof a harsh and fragile polar environment.

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Dome C ing oddress fundomentol guestlon s ostrophyslcol
Investigotingthe formation of the Universe

(J'llBrodiotio fluctuotio ns n

,\ light that the Universe radiated,some 380,000years after the Big Bang,is called the The oldest accessible the (CMB).lt represents footprint of the primordial Universeand containsfine ! ; Cosmic MicrowaveBaclground _ t r details (inhomogeneities,polarization) that reveal maior aspects of the formation and early evolution of the and the BMIN, COCHISE and stabilityof Dome C atmosphere, to Universe.Thanks the uniquetransparency of AST instrumentswill allow the most preciseanalysis this radiationfrom the ground to provide answersto two maior issuesof contemporary cosmology. the Universe expandedexponentially. tnflation: during the very first fractions of a second of its existence, il epoch in the tiny fluctuations of the CMB. Cosmologists seek to detect the traces of these haveshown that the expansionof the Universeis accelerating,"pushed" :,. Dark energy: recent measurements by an energy opposed to gravity.To understand the evolution of this energy with time, cosmologists are 1 l i formed at various epochs,produce on the CMB. studying the effects that massiveclusters of galaxies,

Understonding star ond galaxy formation
The improved access to infrared and submillimetre-waveatmospheric windows at Dome C allows astronomersto study the earlieststagesof stellar life when they are still hidden in their parent cloud of dust and gas.By observing very young objecS in increasinglyremote galaxies,astronomers can trace the cosmic history of star formation in the Universe and how it has been evolvingwith time. Maior targets for future large infrared and submillimetre-wavetelescopes in Antarctica, such as PILOT and AST,are: astronomers want to investigate at large scale the Protostars in giant clouds of the MilÇWay:the and to study the physicalconditionsgoverningthe collapseof a of their properties and masses, distribution cloud ofgas and dust under the effect ofgravity. galaxies can be observed under oPtimal conditionsfrom Dome The Magellanic Glouds: our neighbouring targets for the investigationin great detail of the star formation Processand history C.They cànstitute unique in galaxiesthat feature very different chemical ProPerties from our MilkyWay' Ultra-luminous galaxies: these very remote galaxieslocated between 9 and I I billion light-yearsawayfrom our solar systememit the bulk of their energy in the infrared range.Tounderstandthe source of this Cosmic of lnfrared Background(CIRB) would enable us to know more about the formation mechanisms stars and galaxies the early Universe. in

Stellor furmotion (herein the Large Mogellonk Cloud)

Probing the interior arndotmosqhere of the Sun ond stors
Thanks to its high latitude, Dome C is ideally located for long-duration and high-precisiontime-series measurementsof the Sun and stars over uninterrupted periods of weeks and months'The goal is to better of understandthe nature and the physics the internal enginethat produce the energy of a star,how it varieswith corona and circumstellarenvironment. to time and how lighqenergy and matter are released chromosphere, The Sun: our star constitutes an exceptional laboratory to test models of stellar structure. Helioseismology' aimed at measuring and interpreting the pulsation modes of the Sun, has been invented from Antarctic of of heatingmechanisms the solar chromosphereand inner corona,the direct measurements observations.The designedinstruments(ADSllC) oPeratingunder a by will be addressed specially srructures, the magneticfield and "coronal" that frequentlyoccur above Dome C' uniquelystableand clear sÇ some conditionscalled Life and evolution of stars: to understand the evolution of stars throughout their life, it is necessaryto know more about their inner source of energy and thus astronomers want to probe the interior of stars. For that the star'spulsationmodes' by purpose,they use a techniquecomparableto seismology measuring Death of stars: the final stageof a star's life is characterized by a strong massloss of gas and dust.This matter that is will give rise to future stellar and planetarysystems, most easilyobservedin the infraredand submillimetre-wave range.ThelRAlI PILOT andAST instrumentswill measureit.

Discoverîng new woilds,ond Possible extraterrestriol troces of life
The recent discovery of planets located outside our solar systeir has renewed the question ofthe origins of Life. The understandingof the links between the characteristicsof a star and its planetary companions has become one of the major goals of contemporary astrophysics.Theunigue atmospheric stability and transparency of the Dome C "t.ospÎ".é will allow the discovery of new extrasolar planetary systems and their ProPerties using a range of instrumenrs that spansfrom small telescopes (A STEBICE-T) to large interferometric arrays (KEOPS). Counting extrasolar planets and probing their atmospheres: through a catalogue of a large sample of planetary systems and their characteristics (size, mass, orbital radius and period, atmospheric chemical composition), astronomers will be able to explain the formation of planetary systemswithin dust clouds. Exo-Earths:one of the ultimate goals of the instruments of the future such as KEOPS will be to image a planet comparable to our Earth,and to detect chemical speciesthat are possible life markers.

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