The best place on Earth to install a telescope has been identified by researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC). The place of yore is the highest area of the Antarctic plateau .
Dome A is the name of the highest point of the Antarctic plateau. This ice dome is located 1200 km from the nearest coast, halfway to the geographic south pole and the headwaters of the colossal Lambert Glacier.
Dome A is not a mountain, but a plain whose highest point rises to 4093 meters above sea level. In reality, Dome A is the summit of the mass constituted by the East Antarctic ice cap, due to its elevation. It is considered to be the naturally coldest place on the earth’s surface with temperatures close to -90 ° C. A record temperature of -93.2 ° C was recorded there on August 10, 2010 on a ridge between the Argus and Fuji domes.
The combination of high altitude, low temperature, long periods of continuous darkness, and an exceptionally stable atmosphere makes Dome A a very attractive place for optical and infrared astronomy .
Currently, the highest performance observatories are located at high altitude locations along the equator (Chile and Hawai’i) and offer views in the range of 0.6 to 0.8 arc seconds. Overall, Antarctica has the potential to see better, due to weaker turbulence in the free atmosphere, with an estimated range of 0.23 to 0.36 arc seconds at a place called Dome C.