The Science Case for PILOT I : Summary and Overview

J.S. Lawrence, M.C.B. Ashley, J. Bailey, D. Barrado, [No Value] Navascues, T.R. Bedding, J. Bland-Hawthorn, I. Bond, F. Boulanger, R. Bouwens, H. Bruntt, A. Bunker, D. Burgarella, M.G. Burton, M. Busso, David Coward, M.R. Cioni, G. Durand, C. Eiroa, N. EpchteinN. Gehrels, P. Gillingham, K. Glazebrook, R. Haynes, L. Kiss, P.O. Lagage, T. Lebertre, C. Mackay, J.P. Maillard, A. Mcgrath, V. Minier, A. Mora, K. Olsen, P. Persi, K. Pimbblet, R. Quimby, W. Saunders, B. Schmidt, D. Stello, J.W.V. Storey, C. Tinney, P. Tremblin, J.C. Wheeler, P. Yock

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known tobe exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle areall twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere andtelescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientificcapability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview ofthe optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goalsfor PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and PaperIII present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies offirst light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Groupgalaxies, the MilkyWay, and the Solar System).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-396
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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