Extrasolar Planet Science with the Antarctic Planet Interferometer

James P. Lloyd, Ben F. Lane, Mark R. Swain, John W. Storey, Tony Travouillon, Wesley A. Traub, Chris K. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The primary limitation to ground based astronomy is the Earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere above the Antarctic plateau is fundamentally different in many regards compared to the atmosphere at temperate sites. The extreme altitude, cold and low humidity offer a uniquely transparent atmosphere at many wavelengths. Studies at the South Pole have shown additionally that the turbulence properties of the night time polar atmosphere are unlike any mid latitude sites. Despite relatively strong ground layer turbulence, the lack of high altitude turbulence combined with low wind speeds presents favorable conditions for interferometry. The unique properties of the polar atmosphere can be exploited for Extrasolar Planet studies with differential astrometry, differential phase and nulling interferometers. This paper combines the available data on the properties of the atmosphere at the South Pole and other Antarctic plateau sites for Extrasolar Planet science with interferometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2003
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplants - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 5 2003Aug 7 2003


  • Atmospheric Turbulence
  • Extrasolar Planets
  • Interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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