The first release of the AST3-1 Point Source Catalogue from Dome A, Antarctica Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. The three Antarctic Survey Telescopes (AST3) aim to carry out time-domain imaging survey at Dome A, Antarctica. The first of the three telescopes (AST3-1) was successfully deployed in 2012 January. AST3-1 is a 500mm aperture modified Schmidt telescope with a 680mm diameter primary mirror. AST3-1 is equipped with a SDSS i filter and a 10k 10k frame transfer CCD camera, reduced to 5k 10k by electronic shuttering, resulting in a 4.3 deg2 field of view. To verify the capability of AST3-1 for a variety of science goals, extensive commissioning was carried out between 2012 March and May. The commissioning included a survey covering 2000 deg2 as well as the entire Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Frequent repeated images were made of the centre of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a selected exoplanet transit field, and fields including some Wolf-Rayet stars. Here, we present the data reduction and photometric measurements of the point sources observed by AST3-1.We have achieved a survey depth of 19.3mag in 60 s exposures with 5 mmag precision in the light curves of bright stars. The facility achieves sub-mmag photometric precision under stable survey conditions, approaching its photon noise limit. These results demonstrate that AST3-1 at Dome A is extraordinarily competitive in time-domain astronomy, including both quick searches for faint transients and the detection of tiny transit signals.

published proceedings

  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

author list (cited authors)

  • Ma, B., Shang, Z., Hu, Y. i., Hu, K., Liu, Q., Ashley, M., ... Zhu, Z.

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM