AUGO II: A comprehensive subauroral zone observatory
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A new geophysical observatory dedicated to the study of the auroral borealis will be built 25 km southwest of the town of Athabasca, in Alberta, Canada. It is anticipated to see first light in the winter of 2010/2011 and be fully operational in the fall of 2011. Based on the highly successful Athabasca University Geophysical Observatory (AUGO), opened in 2002 at the Athabasca University campus in Athabasca, Alberta, AUGO II will have expanded observational capacity featuring up to eight climate-controlled domed observation suites in which to host optical instrumentation, on-site accommodation for up to six researchers, and most importantly, dark skies free of light pollution from urban development. AUGO II will share the same advantages as its predecessor, one being its location in central Alberta, allowing routine study of the subauroral zone, auroral oval studies during active times, and very rarely of the polar cap. It will share AUGO'S connection to good roads and infrastructure plus close proximity to the city of Edmonton, some 150 km away. Opportunities are open for guest researchers in space physics to conduct auroral studies at this new, state-of-the-art research facility through the installation of remotely controlled instruments and/or campaigns. An innovative program of instrument development will accompany the new observatory’s enhanced infrastructure with a focus on magnetics and H-beta meridian scanning photometry.