[ASA] AST3-2 0.5m Antarctic telescope, optical g-band images, raw data release

Michael Ashley m.ashley at unsw.edu.au
Thu Jul 27 15:07:43 AEST 2017

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce the availability of ~15TB of raw image data obtained with the Chinese AST3-2 telescope during 2016, supported by NCRIS funding through AAL.

AST3-2 is a 0.5m aperture optical telescope at Dome A, Antarctica (80.37S, 77.53E, 4093m altitude). It uses a Semiconductor Technology Associates CCD with 10,560 x 5,280 pixels covering a FOV of 4.3 square degrees at a scale of 1 arcsec/pixel. The telescope has a fixed Sloan g-band filter.

The images include observations of:

 - a 500-field supernova survey
 - 10 fields near the South Ecliptic Pole in common with TESS
 - one field in the Large Magellanic Cloud
 - ESO141G55: a varying AGN; continuous 60 sec exposures over 2 hours
 - continuous 10 sec un-tracked exposures of a field near the South Celestial Pole (Dec -87)
 - twilight frames
 - engineering tests

Note that the images are raw at this stage - a formal data release of reduced images is planned on a time scale of a year. The raw images will mostly be of interest to people who would like to participate in the early exploration of the data, and to prepare for 2017 and later data releases.

If you wish to publish papers using the data you should first engage with the AST3 consortium to check publication rules and to ensure that you aren't conflicting with an existing project.

Projects currently being undertaken with 2016 and 2017 AST3-2 data include:

 - exoplanet transits
 - supernovae, including spectra taken with WiFeS on the ANU 2.3m
 - observations of Beta Pic
 - pulsating variables and binaries
 - asteroseismology of red giants
 - Proxima Cen B
 - stellar flares
 - a study of the varying AGN ESO141G55
 - characterisation of the seeing at Dome A using precision astrometry

The data are primarily interesting since they are largely unaffected by diurnal aliasing, and should allow quite precise photometry (resulting from low airmass variations, low scintillation noise, and low water vapour absorption).

AST3-2 is taking images throughout 2017, and we will release these after the disks are returned from Antarctica. If you have a target in mind for 2017, please email me.

To obtain a copy of the raw 2016 data on 2 hard disks, please email me.

Best regards,
Michael Ashley <m.ashley at unsw.edu.au>
Professor Michael Ashley                   Department of Astrophysics
University of New South Wales       http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~mcba

More information about the ASA mailing list