Worldwide site comparison for submillimetre astronomyReportar como inadecuado

 Worldwide site comparison for submillimetre astronomy

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The most important limitation for ground-based submillimetre submm astronomy is the broad-band absorption of the total water vapour in the atmosphere above an observation site, often expressed as the Precipitable Water Vapour PWV. A long-term statistic on the PWV is thus mandatory to characterize the quality of an existing or potential site for observational submm-astronomy. In this study we present a three-year statistic 2008-2010 of the PWV for ground-based telescope sites all around the world and for stratospheric altitudes relevant for SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for Far-infrared astronomy. The submm-transmission is calculated for typical PWVs using an atmospheric model. We present the absolute PWV values for each site sorted by year and time percentage. The PWV corresponding to the first decile 10% and the quartiles 25%, 50%, 75% are calculated and transmission curves between 150 {\mu}m and 3 mm for these values are shown. The Antarctic and South-American sites present very good conditions for submillimetre astronomy. The 350 {\mu}m and 450 {\mu}m atmospheric windows are open all year long whereas the 200 {\mu}m atmospheric window opens reasonably for 25 % of the time in Antarctica and the extremely high-altitude sites in Chile. Potential interesting new facilities are Macon in Argentinia and Summit in Greenland that show similar conditions as for example Mauna Kea Hawaii. For SOFIA, we present in more detail transmission curves for different altitudes 11 to 14 km, PWV values, and higher frequencies up to 5 THz. Though the atmosphere at these altitude is generally very transparent, the absorption at very high frequencies becomes more important, partly caused by minor species. In conclusion, the method presented in this paper could identify sites on Earth with a great potential for submillimetre astronomy, and guide future site testing campaigns in situ.

Autor: P. Tremblin; N. Schneider; V. Minier; G. Al. Durand; J. Urban


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