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." The data used in this report was collected by a remote control experiment run through the French-Italian Concordia Station near Dome C. 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. 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. This discovery has been lauded as finding the clearest skies on Earth.
^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.