Opportunities for terahertz facilities on the high plateau

Craig A. Kulesa, Michael C.B. Ashley, Yael Augarten, Colin S. Bonner, Michael G. Burton, Luke Bycroft, Jon Lawrence, David H. Lesser, John Loomis, Daniel M. Luong-Van, Christopher L. Martin, Campbell McLaren, Shawntel Stapleton, John W.V. Storey, Brandon J. Swift, Nicholas F.H. Tothill, Christopher K. Walker, Abram G. Young

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


While the summit of the Antarctic Plateau has long been expected to harbor the best ground-based sites for terahertz (THz) frequency astronomical investigations, it is only recently that direct observations of exceptional THz atmospheric transmission and stability have been obtained. These observations, in combination with recent technological advancements in astronomical instrumentation and autonomous field platforms, make the recognition and realization of terahertz observatories on the high plateau feasible and timely. Here, we will explore the context of terahertz astronomy in the era of Herschel, and the crucial role that observatories on the Antarctic Plateau can play. We explore the important scientific questions to which observations from this unique environment may be most productively applied. We examine the importance and complementarity of Antarctic THz astronomy in the light of contemporary facilities such as ALMA, CCAT, SOFIA and (U)LDB ballooning. Finally, building from the roots of THz facilities in Antarctica to present efforts, we broadly highlight future facilities that will exploit the unique advantages of the Polar Plateau and provide a meaningful, lasting astrophysical legacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrophysics from Antarctica
EditorsMichael G. Burton, Xiangqun Cui, Nicholas F. H. Tothill
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • ISM: clouds
  • galaxies: ISM
  • infrared: general
  • instrumentation: interferometers
  • instrumentation: spectrographs
  • molecular processes
  • site testing
  • stars: formation
  • submillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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