Publication
First Assessment of Mountains on Northwestern Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, as Potential Astronomical Observing Sites

Steinbring, Eric et al., 2010, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 122, 1092 | View on ADS (2010PASP..122.1092S) | Access via DOI

Abstract

Ellesmere Island, at the most northerly tip of Canada, possesses the highest mountain peaks within 10° of the pole. The highest is 2616 m, with many summits over 1000 m, high enough to place them above a stable low-elevation thermal inversion that persists through winter darkness. Our group has studied four mountains along the northwestern coast that have the additional benefit of smooth onshore airflow from the ice-locked Arctic Ocean. We deployed small robotic site-testing stations at three sites, the highest of which is over 1600 m and within 8° of the pole. Basic weather and sky-clarity data for over 3 yr beginning in 2006 are presented here and compared with available nearby sea-level data and one manned midelevation site. Our results point to coastal mountain sites experiencing good weather: low median wind speed, high clear-sky fraction, and the expectation of excellent seeing. Some practical aspects of access to these remote locations and operation and maintenance of equipment there are also discussed.

12 total citations Correct as at 5 Aug, 2021

Citations by month:
Statistics correct as at 4 Aug, 2021