Science Under the Dome: The Geographic South Pole and its Telescopes

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Join us on Thursday April 20, 2017 at 7:00pm for a Science Under the Dome public lecture at the Wayne State Planetarium:

The Geographic South Pole and its Telescopes

presented by

Jerry Dunifer
Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Wayne State University

My talk will describe an expedition I made in January 2016 to the Geographic South Pole with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). ALE operates the only private camp sites on the Antarctic continent: Union Glacier Base Camp, located at 80 degrees south latitude in the interior of the continent, and the South Pole Camp, located about one kilometer from the South Pole. After acclimatizing at the Base Camp, we were flown to the landing strip adjacent to the South Pole. The National Science Foundation (NSF) operates a research base at this location, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. In this talk I’ll describe the main NSF base and the two major astronomical observatories at this site: Ice Cube and the South Pole Telescope. Ice Cube is a neutrino observatory encompassing one cubic kilometer of ice below the surface. It detects elusive neutrinos arriving from throughout the Cosmos. These high-energy neutrinos provide information to probe the most violent astrophysical sources, such as exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and events involving black holes and neutron stars. The South Pole Telescope operates in the millimeter and sub-millimeter part of the electromagnetic spectrum and has been used in a study of the Cosmic Background Radiation resulting from the Big Bang.

This is a free event, but attendance is limited - you need to RSVP in order to attend.  RSVP soon, because these events fill-up quickly!

Wayne State University Planetarium
4841 Cass
Detroit, MI 48201

For more information about this event, please contact Prof. Ed Cackett at 313 577 9355 or

Submissions for this form have closed on April 20, 2017.