Home > Astronomy, Nature, Research, Science > The calmest place on Earth

The calmest place on Earth

September 7, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

“The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth — a place where no human is thought to have ever set foot.

To search for the perfect site to take pictures of the heavens, a U.S.-Australian research team combined data from satellites, ground stations and climate models in a study to assess the many factors that affect astronomy — cloud cover, temperature, sky-brightness, water vapor, wind speeds and atmospheric turbulence.

The researchers pinpointed a site, known simply as Ridge A, that is 13,297 feet (4,053 meters) high up on the Antarctic Plateau on the continent at the bottom of the world.

The study revealed that Ridge A has an average winter temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 degrees Celsius) and an extremely low amount of water in the air.

The site is also extremely calm, which means that there is very little of the atmospheric turbulence that elsewhere makes stars appear to twinkle.”

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