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SCAR XXXVI Paper 33: Final Report of SRP AAA (Astronomy and Astrophysics in Antarctica

SCAR XXXVI Delegates Meeting, Online, 16-25 March 2021

SCAR XXXVI Paper 33: Final Report of SRP AAA (Astronomy and Astrophysics in Antarctica

Agenda Item: 16.6
Person Responsible: Tony Travouillon

Authors: Tony Travouillon (Australian National University, AUS), Jennifer Cooper (University of Kansas, USA), Adriana Maria Gulisano (Instituto Antártico Argentino, Argentina)

Introduction to the Program

The Astronomy and Astrophysics from Antarctica group (AAA). The group is led by a steering committee with representation from 9 countries. This program supports collaborations between astronomers using Antarctica as a platform to make observations of the cosmos that would be impossible from other locations on earth and at a fraction of the cost of operating in space. Astronomy is Antarctica represents over a thousand astronomers working with facilities located at 6 locations on the Antarctic plateau and spanning a wide spectrum of scientific specialties from cosmology to exoplanet searches. Facilities in Antarctica such as IceCube have played a central goal in the birth of “multi messenger astronomy” which has emerged over this decade.

The SCAR AAA SRP Planning Group was proposed at the Hobart XXIX SCAR in 2006. Creation of the AAA SRP was approved at the Moscow XXX SCAR Delegates meeting in 2008. AAA held its first formal meeting as a Scientific Research Program in August 2010 in Buenos Aires, followed by a kick-off meeting in Sydney in June 2011. At the end of the group tenure in 2018, a proposal was presented to the SCAR delegates for a SCAR Science Group dedicated to Astronomical and Spaces sciences called “Astro Sciences”.

Major Achievements and legacies

In its first four years (2011-2014), SCAR AAA has worked hard to meet its initial objectives; providing a forum to facilitate international cooperation, clarify science goals, consolidate comparative site testing data, and raise the profile of SCAR within the international astronomical community and the general public. Major meetings took place in Portland (2012), Siena (2013), and Auckland (2014).

During the second 4 years (2015-2018), SCAR AAA completed the Testing Site for the future ‘data portal’, convened and supported both a half-day science session and business meetings at the SCAR OSC in Kuala Lumpur and at POLAR2018 in Davos and held a 3-day meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Final procedural recommendations to Delegates

ASTRO Sciences seeks the endorsement of SCAR AAA efforts which would maintain momentum of the AAA community, entice new SCAR member countries with AAA opportunities and spur increased coordination and reduce redundancy of equipment on the plateau.