Michael Ashley (astronomer)

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Michael C. B. Ashley
Nationality Australian
Fields Astrophysics, astronomy
Institutions University of New South Wales
Known for Dome C seeing qualities

Michael C. B. Ashley is an Australian astronomer and professor at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney. He is most famous for his work in Antarctica, with the study of the seeing capability at Dome C.

Antarctica and Dome C[edit]

In September 2004, Nature published a report written by Jon Lawrence, Michael Ashley, Andrei Tokovinin, and Tony Travouillon on the seeing abilities of astronomical telescopes in Antarctica. The paper concluded that Dome C would be "the best ground-based site to develop a new astronomical observatory."[1] The data used in this report was collected by a remote control experiment run through the French-Italian Concordia Station near Dome C.[2] However, Ashley and his team have been to Antarctica on four separate trips, in 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2004 for earlier experiments, such as measurements of the near-infrared quality of the brightness of the sky.[3][4] It was found that pictures taken from a telescope at Dome C are, on average, 2.5 times better than those taken at observatories elsewhere.[5] This discovery has been lauded as finding the clearest skies on Earth.[6][7]


  1. ^ Lawrence, Jon; Ashley, Michael; Tokovinin, Andrei; Travouillon, Tony (Sep 16, 2004). "Exceptional astronomical seeing conditions above Dome C in Antarctica" (PDF). Nature. 431 (7006): 278–81. Bibcode:2004Natur.431..278L. doi:10.1038/nature02929. PMID 15372024. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Why has it taken so long to measure the seeing at Dome C?". University of New South Wales. Sep 16, 2004. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Michael C. B. Ashley". University of New South Wales. May 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ Ashley, Michael C. B.; Burton, Michael G.; Storey, John W. V.; Lloyd, James P.; Bally, John; Briggs, John W.; Harper, Doyal A. (August 1996). "South Pole Observations of the Near-Infrared Sky Brightness". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 108: 721–723. Bibcode:1996PASP..108..721A. doi:10.1086/133792. 
  5. ^ Ashley, Michael (Sep 16, 2004). "Just how significant is the good seeing at Dome C?". University of New South Wales. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ Ananthaswamy, Anil (June 6, 2009). "Earth's clearest skies revealed". New Scientist. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 
  7. ^ Reddy, Francis (September 17, 2004). "Antarctica: best seeing on Earth". Astronomy. Retrieved June 30, 2009. 

External links[edit]