Kunlun Station (Antarctica)

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Kunlun Station
昆仑站
Antarctic base
Location of Kunlun Station in Antarctica
Location of Kunlun Station in Antarctica
Kunlun Station
Location of Kunlun Station in Antarctica
Coordinates: 80°25′02″S 77°06′59″E / 80.417340°S 77.116449°E / -80.417340; 77.116449Coordinates: 80°25′02″S 77°06′59″E / 80.417340°S 77.116449°E / -80.417340; 77.116449
Country  China
Location in Antarctica East Antarctica
Administered by Polar Research Institute of China
Established 27 February 2009 (2009-02-27)
Elevation 4,087 m (13,409 ft)
Population
 • Total
  • Up to 28
Type Seasonal
Period Summer
Status Operational
Website Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration

Kunlun Station (simplified Chinese: 昆仑站; traditional Chinese: 崑崙站; pinyin: Kūnlún Zhàn) is the southernmost of four Chinese research stations in Antarctica. When it is occupied during the summer, it is the second-southernmost research base in Antarctica, behind only the American Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station at the geographical South Pole. When Kunlun is not in operation, the year-round Russian Vostok Station is the second-southernmost base in Antarctica.

It is located at 4087 m above sea level on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, making it the highest base in Antarctica.[1] It is only 7.3 km southwest of Dome A, the loftiest point on the Antarctic Plateau. The station was officially opened on January 27, 2009. Fully constructed the station is planned to cover an area of 558 m². The main building, covering 236 m², is planned erected in April 2009.[2]

The site is one of the coldest in the world, with temperatures occasionally reaching −80 °C (−112 °F) in the winter. It is indicated from satellite measurements that places nearby could reach a world record −90 °C (−130 °F) temperature.[3]

In April 2012 the first of three Antarctica Schmidt telescopes (AST3) was installed at Kunlun Station. The other two were planned for installation in 2013 and 2014. A bigger optical telescope, Kunlun Dark Universe Survey Telescope (KDUST), is planned to be installed by 2020.

Telescopes at Antarctic Kunlun Station[edit]

Instrument Name Aperture Installation Year Remarks
Chinese Small Telescope Array (CSTAR) [4] 0.145m 2008 CSTAR is an array of four Schmidt telescope with aperture of 14.5 cm,equipped with 1Kx1K CCD each.
Antarctica Schmidt telescopes (AST3) 0.5m 2012-2014 First of three AST3 telescopes was installed at the Antarctic Kunlun Station in April 2012.[5]
Kunlun Dark Universe Survey Telescope (KDUST) 2.5m 2020 KDUST is a 2.5 meter infrared optical telescope designed to detect and observe Earth-like planets in the Milky Way using infrared light.[6]
Dome A Terahertz Explorer-5 (DATE5) 5m 2020 DATE5 is a 5-meter telescope designed to detect light with longer wavelengths, which will allow astronomers to detect and observe nascent stars.[6]
Infrared optical telescope 6-8m 2020+
New terahertz telescope 15m 2020+

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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