South Pole Telescope Commute

South Pole Telescope Commute

what you're watching here is graduate student Martin lucre of the University of California at Berkeley demonstrating what it takes to prepare to go outside here at the South Pole my name is Catherine Schaeffer and Martin and I are both scientists working on the South Pole telescope here at the National Science Foundation South Pole Station the South Pole is an ideal location for a telescope like ours which is designed to detect faint radiation left over from the Big Bang the extremely dry atmosphere and the long dark winters here provide excellent conditions for our telescope but they are difficult conditions for people to work in each person who visits the South Pole is equipped with two large orange bags full of gear to help us stay warm when we go outside the gear includes long underwear police jackets coveralls insulated boots a giant red parka goggles and all sorts of hats and gloves it's the middle of December right now and temperatures are actually at their warmest here only minus 10 degrees today but typical temperatures for the summer season can be between minus 20 and minus 40 degrees Martin and I are currently standing just inside the front entrance to the South Pole Station right next to the gymnasium and one of the lounges the station is where we live when we're down here working on the telescope and it's quite comfortable but to get to the telescope every day we have to leave the station and walk about a kilometre across the snow so putting on all of this gear is part of the daily routine for us it's about 9:00 p.m. here and Martin and I are about to head out for a night of work we're working on the night shift but you would never know it by looking outside during the summer season it's sunny here 24 hours a day once Martin is finished getting dressed we'll head outside and show you our daily commute to work okay Martin and I just stepped out of the front door of the station which is what we're looking at right now this is the new station it's still being built a little bit a little bit of construction is still underway right now and we're just going to pan the camera around and show you what our local environment looks like and where we're headed for work today so as we move to the left mostly you just see some snow and then in the distance there let me see if I can zoom in on this there we go in the distance you can see a whole bunch of flags that's actually the location of the actual geographic South Pole as well as the ceremonial South Pole and all those flags are the flags of the signatories of the Antarctic Treaty the ceremonial South Pole really does look like a barber shop it does look like a barber shop pole I hope you get to see some pictures so as we pan to the left we see some there's some blocks of snow out there those are actually going to be used for ice sculptures as part of a annual tradition we keep panning mostly you just see a lot of snow some flags the distant horizon more flags and there we go that's the telescope out there in the distance that's the dark sector laboratory it's actually several telescope telescopes of course there's only one that we're working on right now which is the big one to the left and this is the walk that we make every day to get out to the telescope it takes about 15 minutes takes us across the ski way which is where all the planes normally land so sometimes you get stuck waiting for the planes on the way out there and on a cold day by the end of this walk you really feel it okay okay now you're covered in frog yeah covered in frost okay we're going to head out there okay so here we are almost out to the telescope off there in the distance is the station again and from this vantage point you can actually see the dome which was the second station here at the South Pole built in about 1970 currently that station is being demolished and as we pan around let me zoom out you can see some of the telescope's that have been out here over the last 10 or 15 years right in front of that building that's almost buried is it was the Astro telescope that's been on a convention for a couple years now and as we keep panning over you'll see two telescopes here at the Martin a Pomerance Observatory on it may fo the telescope on the right is the was originally the Daisy telescope some senate's housed other experiments called quad and on the left you'll see the telescope that I worked here the first time I came out about six years ago that was the Viper telescope the telescope is now gone but you can still see the ground shield that shield for Tex the telescope and protects the instrument from getting light from the ground which would confuse our science and if we pan around again you'll see ice for another thousand miles and here we are this is the Dark Sector lab this is where we're working today here you see another two telescopes the one on the roof on the right is the bicep telescope that one is still taking data and there's a 10 meter the South Pole telescope itself and if she keeps going you see one more telescope this is ice cubes the ice cube telescope is pretty special it's not above the ground it's under ground and instead of using a big reflector to catch light the IceCube telescope uses the ice to catch subatomic particles called neutrinos hi Catherine how is out there today you're still the lion stuff so it's nice out the wind is low we've had a beautiful walk to work not a cloud in the sky check it out all right let's get yeah let's do it bye everybody you

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  1. Hey, when you're out there, try this. Take the longitude line you'd walk to the observatory, and take it in the opposite direction. Go all the way around the world, and go into work the other way!

  2. Would it have cost too much to half bury an aluminium tunnel construct between the two sites? Inclement weather would not be a problem then.

  3. great vid…thx…it's nice to see that the people who will be keeping the world informed about the incoming system seem likable…Please let us know more about what your seeing out there πŸ˜‰

  4. Hey guys! Thia is a great video! Show us some photos of the "double sun" or the Planet X…Pleeeeese. pretty Please.

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