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Proceedings Paper

Window to the universe for less money: 10 years of PAIX from Antarctica
Author(s): M. Chadid; J. Vernin; G.-Y. Jumper; L.-Y. Liu; H. Trinquet
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Paper Abstract

Time has come to implement a new way to study the stellar physics from the ground with long-term uninterrupted time series, multi-color photometry, flexibility during observing runs and all for less money. PAIX, Photometer AntarctIca eXtinction, gives new insight to cope with unresolved stellar enigma and stellar oscillation challenges and bears witness, for the first time, to a new technology of the polar instrumental robotization under extreme human and weather conditions in the heart of Antarctica. In fact, the stellar pulsation plays a crucial role in understanding the Universe, however progress is limited by the data accuracy needed to detect numerous modes of oscillations with small amplitudes and by the discontinuous nature of typical ground-based data strings which often introduce ambiguities in the determination of oscillation frequencies. The recent space missions enable to overcome both difficulties, However, the outcome of the space missions shows large gaps in terms of flexibility during the observing runs, the choice of targets, the repair of failures and the inexorable high costs. We present here the new technology from Antarctica, in particular from South Polar Site Dome C that benefits from great image quality and 150 days high time coverage, where the seeing reaches a median value of 1 arcsec during the polar night. We briefly describe the instrumental performances of PAIX, its low-cost commercial components, robotic telescope, multi-band photometer and automatic control, working under harsh weather conditions, even when the temperature reach values as low as -80°C. The polar mission PAIX challenges the space missions and even has more advantages than CoRoT and KEPLER in observing in UBVRI bands and then collecting multicolor light curves simultaneously of several targets. We discuss here the first outcomes of stellar physics from the heart of Antarctica during 10 polar nights and PAIX new results and perspectives on the pulsating stars from Antarctica, especially the connection between the stellar pulsation enigma and the Universe mysteries. Finally, we highlight the impact of PAIX -the robotic Antarctica photometer- on the Astronomy development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 107020N (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2313265
Show Author Affiliations
M. Chadid, Univ. Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
J. Vernin, Univ. Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (France)
G.-Y. Jumper, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
L.-Y. Liu, National Astronomical Observatories (China)
H. Trinquet, DGA Mâitrise de l’Information (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10702:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
Christopher J. Evans; Luc Simard; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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