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A well-focused research program over the past decade has shown that the South Pole has many remarkable characteristics that are particularly favorable for astronomy. These include the very cold, dry atmosphere and the vanishingly small free-air turbulence. Dome C, site of the new French/Italian station Concordia, has all of these attributes plus the added advantage of very low ground-level wind speeds. Higher on the plateau, locations such as the 4200 m high Dome A may well represent the ultimate ground based astronomical observing sites.