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Published September 17, 2012 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

The Gattini South Pole UV Experiment


The Gattini South Pole UV experiment (Gattini SPUV) was deployed to the South Pole dark sector in February 2010 and has recently completed a highly successful first season of winter time observations. The experiment has, for the first time ever, measured and categorized the optical night sky brightness at the very blue wavelengths. The experiment consists of a remotely operated 6" aperture custom designed telescope. The telescope feeds a blue sensitive imager with 4 degree field of view that contains a bank of 3 filters: SDSS g', Bessel U and a custom "super U" filter specifically designed to probe the sky emission at wavelengths approaching the atmospheric cut-off. The filters are continually cycled with exposure times ranging from 30 to 300 seconds throughout the winter period. The telescope, in addition, feeds a 2 degree long slit VPH grating spectrograph with R~1000. The bandwidth is 350-450nm. The spectra are recorded simultaneously with the imager exposures. The experiment is designed for low temperature Antarctic operation and resides on the roof of the MAPO building in the South Pole Antarctic sector. The primary science goals are to categorize the Antarctic winter-time sky background at the very bluest of wavelengths as a pathfinder for the Antarctic Cosmic Web Imager. We present a technical overview of the experiment and results from the first winter season.

Additional Information

© 2012 SPIE. This research is financially supported by the US National Science Foundation, the United States Antarctic Program and Caltech Optical Observatories.

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