Kunlun Station (simplified Chinese: 昆仑站; traditional Chinese: 崑崙站; pinyin: Kūnlún Zhàn) is the southernmost of five 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.

Kunlun Station
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′58″E / 80.417139°S 77.116111°E / -80.417139; 77.116111
Country China
Location in AntarcticaEast Antarctica
Administered byPolar Research Institute of China
Established27 January 2009 (2009-01-27)
Elevation4,087 m (13,409 ft)
 • Summer
 • Winter
  • Core drilling
  • Astronomy
  • Geomagnetism
  • Seismology
WebsiteChinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration

It is located at 4087 m above sea level on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, making it the highest base in Antarctica.[2] It is only 7.3 km southwest of Dome A, the highest 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.[3]

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.[citation needed]

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 2025.

Telescopes at 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 2025 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 2025 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

  1. ^ a b Antarctic Station Catalogue (PDF) (catalogue). Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs. August 2017. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-473-40409-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 October 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  2. ^ "China to build two more Antarctic bases". Phys.org. March 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "China sets up 3rd Antarctic research station". 2009-01-28. Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Installment of telescope array completed at Dome A -- china.org.cn". china.org.cn. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  5. ^ "China installs large Antarctic survey telescope". peopledaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b University of New South Wales, Australia, The PLATO-A Team http://mcba11.phys.unsw.edu.au/~plato-a/

External links edit