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Session 48 - Workshop on the Future of Antarctic Astrophysics - I.
Topical, Oral session, Wednesday, June 10
The purpose of this all day session is to educate the astronomical community about the Antarctic site and the unique potential of Antarctica for astrophysics, and to involve the community in the planning of future observing facilities to be sited at the South Pole.
The conditions at the South Pole offer unique opportunities for Astrophysical research. The extremely cold, dry and highly stable atmosphere is exceptional for observations from the millimeter through the infrared. The nearly two mile thick polar ice cap can be used for high energy astrophysical particle detector telescopes, such as the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA). Over the last several years, the Center for Astronomical Research in Antarctica (CARA) has carried out extensive site testing, successfully operated an observatory through the Austral winter, and conducted cutting edge astronomical observations. It is now time to plan for the future beyond CARA which, as a NSF-Science and Technology Center, ends in 2002.
The workshop begins with a plenary session which covers the history of Astrophysics at the Pole and summarizes the current research being conducted by the CARA and AMANDA collaborations. The speakers also will review the site characterization and the peculiarities of conducting research at the South Pole.
The day proceeds with parallel sessions of five science working groups. The chairs of the working groups will arrange speakers to address the potential of the Antarctic for conducting unique observations and experiments in their specific area of Astrophysics. The chairs then present a summary of their working group's findings at a plenary session. Talks on large instruments already being planned for the South Pole will also be presented during this session. The session concludes with a panel discussion on the scientific goals for the future of antarctic astrophysics.
Further information on the South Pole and on this Workshop can be found at http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/aas/AASWorkshop.html.
Program listing for Wednesday