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Post Info TOPIC: Plateau Observatory


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PLATO observatory
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PLATO, the PLATeau Observatory, at Dome Argus, Antarctica,  was shut down on the 8th August after 204 days of continuous operation. It is currently hibernating, and is expected to return on-line when the sun rises sufficiently to thaw the batteries.

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RE: Plateau Observatory
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An international team from Australia, the US and Britain, along with China's 24th Antarctic Expedition has installed an automated space observatory at Dome Argus, the highest point, at 4,093 metres above sea level, in Antarctica. The Chinese Polar Research Institute completed installation work on the fully robotic PLATO (PLATeau Observatory) in February 2008.
The observatory is powered by solar panels and by diesel engines which will guide and point the seven telescopes and send the observation data via satellite to scientists around the world.
The observatory will operate autonomously until Chinese scientists return to the site next January.
The observatory will also gather data at the site to help the future building of larger observatories.

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Dome A
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An unmanned observatory built at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) will be sent on an 8,000-kilometre journey to Antarctica this weekend to determine whether or not the white continent is the best place on earth for stargazing.
The Plateau Observatory (PLATO) will carry a fibre-optic spectrometer called Nigel, which will help measure the darkness of the sky. It will also carry telescopes from China and the US.
The solar-and-battery-powered observatory will first be trucked to Fremantle in Western Australia, from where researchers at the Polar Research Institute of China will collect it to be transported to Antarctica.
PLATO will be towed to a site in the Australian Antarctic Territory called Dome A, 1300 kilometres from the coastline and 4100 metres above sea level.

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The name "Dome Argus" was given by the Scott Polar Research Institute from Greek mythology; Argus built the ship in which Jason and the Argonauts travelled.

Position: 81°0S 77°0E

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Posts: 131433
Date:
Plateau Observatory
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To reach  the bottom of the world, Zhu Zhenxi first had to run and climb his way to the top.
Next weekend Sydney astronomers will wave goodbye to a robot-controlled observatory destined for one of the calmest and coldest places on earth: a desolate Antarctic plateau 4100 metres above sea level.
Built at the University of NSW and fitted with telescopes from China, the United States and Britain, the fully automated observatory will be operated under remote control, via satellite, from the comfort of Sydney.
But its installation will be the job for Dr Zhu, from China's Centre for Antarctic Astronomy.

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