CARA Science: IR Site Characterizartion

Near Infrared

In the near-IR, the sky brightness has been shown to be between 20 and 100 times lower than at temperate sites (Phillips et al. 1999; Ashley et al. 1996; Nguyen et al. 1996). Exceptionally low near-IR backgrounds at the South Pole are not infrequent (Phillips et al. 1999).

Mid-Infrared

At 11 microns the summertime sky brightness at the South Pole is an order of magnitude lower than at a typical temperate observatory in winter, and much more stable (Smith & Harper 1997).

Between 20 and 30 microns the wintertime optical depth is typically 0.25 with excellent stability of 0.2% variability over the 14 minute periods of observation.

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