The Alfred Wegener Institute carries out research in the Arctic and Antarctic as well as in the high and mid latitude oceans. The institute coordinates German polar research and makes available to national and international science important infrastructure, e.g. the research icebreaker “Polarstern” and research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Based in Cambridge, United Kingdom, it has, for over 60 years, undertaken the majority of Britain's scientific research on and around the Antarctic continent. It now shares that continent with scientists from over thirty countries
The Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) is a technical body under the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, which is governed by the Organic Statute approved by the DFL 82, published in the Official Gazette on March 19, 1979.
The INACH is responsible for compliance with the National Antarctic Policy, encouraging
• the development of scientific research, technology and innovation in Antarctica following international standards.
• an effective participation in the Antarctic Treaty System and related international forums,
• the strengthening of Punta Arenas as a gateway to the White Continent,
• outreach activities and assessment of knowledge and Antarctica in the national community
• and advising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Antarctic matters.
INACH is responsible for coordinating, planning and execution of scientific and technological activities in Antarctica, and supporting the work with the SCAR Chilean Committee (CNIA).
Since 2003, the national headquarters of INACH are located in the city of Punta Arenas, capital of the Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.
The Joint Australian Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica, JACARA, has been constituted to facilitate Australian participation in the development of Antarctic astronomy. It has joint nodes at the School of Physics in the University of New South Wales, and at Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories in the Australian National University. JACARA receives advice from the Australian Working Group for Antarctic Astronomy. This group was created by the National Committee for Astronomy in order to study the scientific potential of the Antarctic Plateau for astronomy.
JACARA is a joint collaboration between the following institutions
University of New South Wales
Anglo Australian Observatory
Australian Antarctic Division
Australian National University
Swinburne University of Technology
University of Sydney
University of Tasmania
JACARA is promoting activities, both nationally and internationally, that will facilitate our ability to operate an Antarctic Observatory and maximise the science that can be produced. The focus has been on site testing, to quantify the limitations to astronomical observations across the spectrum and determine the optimum site for an international observatory. This is being conducted at the South Pole and Dome C. Of special interest is the development of an Automated Astrophysical Site Testing Observatory (AASTO) at the South Pole, and its successor, the Automated Astrophysical Site Testing International Observatory (AASTINO) at Dome C. JACARA collaborated in the Abu/Aladdin project, operating a 1024x1024 InSb array on the 60cm prototype SPIREX telescope at the South Pole, demonstrating the capabilities for thermal IR (3-5um) imaging. JACARA is now developing the concept of PILOT, the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope, a 2m wide-field telescope able to provide diffraction-limited performance from 30 microns to visual wavebands.
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU). SCAR is charged with initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region, and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system. The scientific business of SCAR is conducted by its Standing Scientific Groups which represent the scientific disciplines active in Antarctic research and report to SCAR.
Housed in the library of the Scott Polar Research Institute, the WDC for Glaciology, Cambridge, maintains a particularly comprehensive collection of publications covering all aspects of snow and ice worldwide
An aurora australis
An aurora australis and the Milky Way illuminate the night sky near McMurdo Station, photograph by Deven Stross, National Science Foundation.