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South Pole Telescope Camera


South Pole Telescope Camera

A new camera for the South Pole Telescope, called SPT-3G, will aid scientists in creating the deepest, most sensitive map yet of the cosmic microwave background, allowing them to peer more closely into the era of the universe just after the Big Bang.

Next-gen camera for the South Pole Telescope gathers data on early universe

Deep in Antarctica, at the southernmost point on our planet, sits a 33-foot telescope designed for a single purpose: to make images of the oldest light in the universe. The South Pole Telescope, specially designed to measure the “cosmic microwave background,” has opened its third-generation camera, which is more sensitive by nearly an order of magnitude. Its data can give us clues on everything from dark energy to the physics of the Big Bang to locating the most massive clusters of galaxies in the universe.

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Science Bulletins: The Cosmic Microwave Background—A New View from the South Pole

The icy South Pole desert is a harsh and desolate landscape in which few life-forms can flourish. But the extreme cold and isolation are perfect for astronomical observations. Taking advantage of the severe conditions, scientists are using the new South Pole Telescope—the largest ever deployed in Antarctica—to observe the oldest light in the Universe, the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

Related Links:

South Pole Telescope

Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago

National Science Foundation: Office of Polar Programs (OPP)

UCLA: Cosmic Microwave Background

NASA Science: The Big Bang

South Pole Telescope Commute

Join scientists as they walk 1km from their Antarctic home station to work on the South Pole Telescope.

Exploring the Universe from the South Pole

(Visit: The study of the origin, evolution and make-up of the universe has made dramatic and surprising advances over the last decades John E. Carlstrom, Professor at the University of Chicago and the deputy director of the UCSB Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, describes new measurements being carried out with the 10-m South Pole Telescope to test the inflation theory of the origin of the Universe and to investigate the nature of dark energy. Series: Scientific Horizons
[Science] [Show ID: 24126]

CITA 821: Cosmological Constraints from Clusters Discovered by the South Pole Telescope

Title: Cosmological Constraints from Clusters Discovered by the South Pole Telescope
Speaker: Lindsey Bleem (Argonne National Lab)
Date: 2018-05-31


The South Pole is one of the coldest, driest and harshest places on earth. The Aurora Australis can be seen together with the core of the milkyway only here in Antarctica. Temperatures below -70°C/-95°F during the polar night are not uncommon. Together with strong winds and exceptional aridity this is one of the hardest places to shoot timelapse in. Special equipment has been constructed and modified to keep the cameras running.
Read more about it here:
Shot by Robert Schwarz, CMB-Observatory (Cosmic Microwave Backgroud) operator and technician at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station.
Post-Production, Edit and Stock-footage management by Martin Heck, Timestorm Films
Curated by Christoph Malin and Martin Heck
Production coordination by Christoph Malin

Music: Diana by Tony Anderson licensed through musicbed:

Edited with Adobe LR, AE, Davinci Resolve and LRTimelapse:

Shot on Canon 6D and 5DIII cameras

Building For Science- South Pole Station, Antarctica

Jerry Marty, facilities construction and maintenance manager for the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, Division of Antarctic Sciences, presents Building for Science at the South Pole.

Galaxy Cluster Cosmology with the South Pole Telescope by Sebastian Bocquet


Cosmology - The Next Decade

ORGANIZERS : Rishi Khatri, Subha Majumdar and Aseem Paranjape
DATE : 03 January 2019 to 25 January 2019
VENUE : Ramanujan Lecture Hall, ICTS Bangalore

The great observational progress in cosmology has revealed some very intriguing puzzles, the most important of which are the existence of new mysterious components of the Universe: the dark matter and the dark energy. While a standard model of cosmology — the Lambda cold dark matter (LCDM) paradigm — has emerged, many puzzles are as yet unsolved. Is dark energy really just a cosmological constant (Lambda), or is it something dynamical, perhaps even a clue that Einstein’s general relativity needs modifications at cosmological scales? Is dark matter a new particle beyond the Standard Model, and do its microscopic properties leave any imprint at cosmological or galactic scales (e.g., deep inside galaxy clusters, or in dwarf galaxies)? The nature of dark matter would also have very interesting consequences for the reionization history of the Universe, which is already being constrained by observations of high redshift quasars and galaxies and is expected to be determined in considerable detail by upcoming and future 21cm experiments.

This is therefore a very exciting time in cosmology as we make new proposals for cosmological experiments and wait for the next generation of the already approved experiments to become operational. The nature of data that will be provided by the next generation of cosmological experiments would be overwhelming quantitatively (in the case of large scale structure surveys) and very different from the current data sets qualitatively (in the case of the CMB spectral distortions and polarization and 21 cm experiments). There are also large gaps — mainly driven by astrophysical uncertainties in our theoretical understanding of the large scale structure; these must be filled in order to get the full benefit of these new data sets.

This is the backdrop against which we plan to have the School and Workshop to explore and discuss these issues as we look forward to another 10 exciting years in cosmology.

The topics covered in the School will include:

1. Cosmological perturbation theory and CMB anisotropies
2. Growth of cosmological LSS and the Cosmic Web
3. Gravitational lensing
4. 21cm physics
5. Galaxy formation and evolution
6. Galaxy clusters
7. CMB spectral distortions
8. Large-scale relativistic effects in the observed LSS
9. Astro-particle physics, dark matter detection and neutrino cosmology
10.Cross-correlations between observational probes
11.Numerical simulations
12.Gravitational wave physics and cosmology

The Workshop will bring together a larger number of scientists working in these and related areas for a more advanced discussion of the latest developments in these and related areas.
In addition, as part of the workshop, there will be one day (a Survey Day) reserved for detailed discussion current and upcoming large scale structure and CMB experiments, especially keeping mind core Indian involvement to specific missions and surveys.

As part of the program there will be Infosys - ICTS Chandrasekhar Lectures by Prof. Rashid Sunyaev, ICTS Distinguished lectures by Prof. Richard Bond and ICTS Vishveshwara lecture by Prof. Lyman Page.



Lightsaber fights at the South Pole Telescope!

Today we check out the South Pole Telescope and take some pretty cool pictures with some cool props (definitely lightsabers ????)

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*I am currently living and working at the South Pole Station through the United States Antarctic Program. I am not down here as a filmmaker or photographer, but instead work in the Housing and Dining department. All of these videos are being made during my free time and not during working hours. We are very busy down here keeping the station running at maximum efficiency, but I have managed to find some free time to make these short movies!*

South Pole Telescope

Recent facilities such as the South Pole Telescope (SPT), the Herschel Space Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) have opened a window to the millimeter (mm) sky and revealed a unique and unprecedented view of the dusty Universe. In a 2500 square degree cosmological survey, SPT has systematically identified a large number of high-redshift strongly gravitationally lensed starburst galaxies. We have completed a unique spectroscopic redshift survey with ALMA, targeting carbon monoxide line emission in these sources. We have obtained spectroscopic redshifts for 82 sources, with a median of z=3.9. This sample comprises 70% of the total spectroscopically confirmed starburst and extends into the epoch of re-ionization. We are undertaking a comprehensive and systematic followup campaign to use these 'cosmic magnifying glasses' to study the physical conditions and chemical evolution of the dust-obscured universe in unprecedented detail, using ionized carbon, carbon monoxide, and water. These sources are also part of an Early Release Science Program with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), due to launch in less than a year. Combined, these images taken with ALMA and JWST will be the most detailed study of the redshift 7 Universe, less than 800 million years after the Big Bang.

Cosmology from the South Pole Telescope

Antony A. Stark (SAO)

Telescopes at the South Pole - Abby Crites - 4/15/16

A first-hand account of the unique telescope operating at the South Pole for studying leftover radiation from the Big Bang. Lecture: 02:10; Lecture Q&A: 24:47; Panel Q&A: 31:33

Date: April 15, 2016
Lecturer: Dr. Abby Crites
Title: Astronomy from the Bottom of the Earth: Telescopes at the South Pole
Abstract: The South Pole represents a unique environment for studying the evolution of the Universe. Its extreme cold, dark skies, and isolation from humans optimize it for certain types of instruments and studies. I will present my experiences working at the Pole on the South Pole Telescope, an instrument designed to investigate the nature of the Big Bang. Additionally, I'll discuss other science efforts at the Pole, including IceCube, a photodetector array embedded in the ice used to study neutrinos.

Event Photos:
Echo360 Two-Pane Video Stream:
Thumbnail Image Credit: South Pole Telescope

Science - South Pole Telescope (2008-02-18)

Angi Bruss talks with David Zizzo, Science Editor for The Oklahoman, about a huge telescope built on the South Pole.

South Pole Telescope - Video Learning -

The South Pole Telescope is a 10 metre diameter telescope located at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. The telescope is designed for observations in the microwave, millimeter-wave, and submillimeter-wave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, with the particular design goal of measuring the faint, diffuse emission from the cosmic microwave background . The first major survey with the SPT–designed to find distant, massive, clusters of galaxies through their interaction with the CMB, with the goal of constraining the dark energy equation of state–was completed in October 2011. In early 2012, a new camera was installed on the SPT with even greater sensitivity and the capability to measure the polarization of incoming light. This camera is designed to measure the so-called B-mode or curl component of the polarized CMB, leading to constraints on the mass of the neutrino and the energy scale of inflation.

The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen institutions, including the University of Chicago, the University of California-Berkeley, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the University of Colorado-Boulder, McGill University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California at Davis, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The South Pole is the premier observing site in the world for millimeter-wavelength observations. The Pole's high altitude means the atmosphere is thin, and the extreme cold keeps the amount of water vapor in the air low. This is particularly important for observing at millimeter wavelengths, where incoming signals can be absorbed by water vapor, and where water vapor emits radiation that can be confused with astronomical signals. Because the sun does not rise and set daily, the atmosphere at the pole is particularly stable. Further, there is no interference from the sun in the millimeter range during the months of polar night.

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Background Music:
The Place Inside by Silent Partner (royalty-free) from YouTube Audio Library.

This video uses material/images from which is released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 . This video is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 . To reuse/adapt the content in your own work, you must comply with the license terms.

North Pole Web Cam 2015

The North Pole Web Cam was deployed on an ice floe at the North Pole in Summer 2015 as part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory.


Filming at the South Pole during the polar night is pretty much as hard as it gets. Temperatures below -70°C/-95°F are not uncommon. Cables break like spaghetti, LCD displays freeze up even electronic components stop working.
Cameras always have to be heated, motion control gear modified and setups made storm-proof.
Many of the shots in the video have been recorded for 24h or more to capture a full revolution of the earth spinning once around its axis.
Shot by Benjamin Eberhardt, experiment operator and astrophysicist at the IceCube Neutrino telescope at the the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station. He spent a full winter at the pole with over a year spent on the ice.
Follow him on social media:

Edited and processed by Martin Heck (Timestorm Films)

Music: Heaven and Earth by Shawn Williams licensed through musicbed:

Edited with Adobe LR, AE, Davinci Resolve and LRTimelapse:

Shot on Sony A7R3 and Sigma 14mm f1.8 lens
tracking mount: Vixen Polarie (modified)

AMANDA In ice Camera 1998

Deployment and freeze-in of Swedish cameras in the Antarctic Moun and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA) hole 13, South Pole, Antarctica
January 1998
P.O. Hulth and Lars Thollander, Stockholm University for the IceCube Collaboration

This camera system was deployed January 24-25, 1998 at the bottom of string 13 in AMANDA. The camera consisted of one down-looking camera and one looking into the wall of the hole. Five metres below the camera system, a glass sphere with a light source pointing into the wall was located. Depths given in the movie are interpolated and may have uncertainties up to 100 m below 1300 m. The final position depth is exact.

Antarctica - New Route to the South Pole

After 10 years of trying to build experience, a team and gather funding we have our team for looking to take on a new route to the South Pole in November 2017. 1,300km, 60 days, 4 people unsupported will be the challenge of a lifetime. You will be able to track our journey and progress. We are also aiming to film the journey and show case our new route to the South Pole. Contact for further information.

AstroTours – 90 Degrees South: Astronomy at the End of the World (October 2018)

The South Pole, one of Earth’s most isolated outposts, is alive with Science. Here you can find the 10-metre South Pole Telescope (SPT), tasked with observing some of the oldest light in our universe; light emitted just after the Big Bang. In 2016, a next-generation microwave camera, SPT-3G, was installed onto the telescope. This camera allows astronomers to map out the Cosmic Microwave Background in more detail than ever before, providing new information on clusters of galaxies, cosmic inflation, and particle physics. Join me as I go through the science and design behind the brand new SPT-3G camera, and take you along on my 2-month expedition down to the South Pole in 2017 to perform vital upgrades.

About the Speaker:
Matt Young is a 4th year PhD candidate at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Toronto, where he spends most of his time working on the next-generation camera upgrade for the South Pole Telescope, SPT-3G. Originally from Perth in Western Australia, he's always been fascinated by the night sky and the incredible equipment we use to peer out into the Universe. When he's not tinkering away in the lab, he likes to escape from the city for some hiking in the great Canadian outdoors.