The second ARENA conference was dedicated to identify and consolidate the best science cases that would motivate the implementation of a world class astronomical observatory in Antarctica based at the CONCORDIA station on Dome C.
Dome C (about 1500 km southeast of the South Pole) is the only European station in the Antarctic inland operating all year round since 2005. Being cold, high, dry, stable, and completely dark for 3 long winter months, Dome C likely offers unique ground- based atmospheric conditions to achieve unique astronomical observations and wide- field (infrared to submillimeter) surveys. It also represents an outstanding follow-up platform for several major space missions of the 21st century . In particular, the major features that may make Dome C unique for astronomical observations include, i) the high infrared and submillimetre transmission, the low thermal background emission, and the very good stability of the cold atmosphere, ii) the uninterrupted 3-month long night, without polar lights, iii) the excellent seeing conditions above a thin (30m) turbulent ground layer, iv)quasi infinite flat space to deploy giant telescope arrays.
This book includes 22 invited papers and some 25 oral and poster presentations by scientists involved in the most promising fields of Antarctic Astronomy: wide field IR and submillimetre surveys, long time series observations, cosmic microware background radiation, optical and IR high angular resolution and interferometry and solar corona.
Six international working groups were set up at the end of the conference to prepare and document the final conclusions and recommendations of the ARENA network in these promising areas. The third and final conference of this cycle to be held in 2009 will be mainly dedicated to present and discuss the results of their investigations.