In Celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-2008)
January 4, 11&12, 18, 25
In the Exploratorium’ s Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio and Online at: www.exploratorium.edu/poles
Made possible by the National Science Foundation
Please check the website for event times and for further updates on scheduled live connections to Antarctica.
In celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-2008), the Exploratorium’s Live@ crew will be talking with scientists at McMurdo Station and the South Pole about the myriad of research being done there. Scheduled webcasts occur January 4, 11, 12, 18, and 25. The polar researchers will be scattered across the continent, from cosmologists at the South Pole, analyzing initial data and tweaking their brand-new 10-meter telescope just completed last February, to geologists pulling up deep sediment cores from under the sea near McMurdo Station. Scientists include glaciologists camping on a remote glacier in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to study the vast network of lakes, streams, and rivers that flow under the ice, and biologists at three different Adelie penguin colonies along the coastline of the pristine Ross Sea. Explore how they study this resilient bird’s response to rapid environmental changes. Meet scientists on a research cruise off the Western Antarctic Peninsula, a teeming marine ecosystem that is experiencing some of the most dramatic warming anywhere on earth. Meet physicists at the South Pole building a unique telescope deep under the ice, called IceCube. They study elusive neutrinos from space. Join NASA scientists reporting on their research into high-energy cosmic rays using instruments mounted on huge balloons launched from near McMurdo to navigate the circumpolar currents above Antarctica. These programs and webcasts will be shown at www.exploratorium.edu/icestories. Make sure to check the schedule for updates. The schedule is as follows:
Friday, January 4th, 1pm, PST
We’ll be connecting with scientists at Palmer Research Station in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. This is one of the most rapidly warming places on earth and the site of a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Project. The scientists are getting ready for a month-long research cruise off the shores of Western Antarctica studying how this rich marine ecosystem is responding to melting sea ice and global climate change.
Friday, January 11th, 1pm, PST
Join us as we talk to NASA scientists about balloon research in the stratosphere over Antarctica. This season, three giant helium balloons will launch near McMurdo Station and circulate in circumpolar air currents above Antarctica collecting data about cosmic rays, very high energy particles that zip through the galaxy at nearly the speed of light. If conditions permit, we'll be talking with the balloon scientists from their ice facility at Williams Field, where the giant balloons are inflated and launched and their flights are tracked.
Saturday, January 12th, 8am, PST
We’ll continue our discussions with scientists on the IceCube telescope at the South Pole. This unique telescope is designed to capture the movement of neutrinos. Neutrinos are subatomic particles with infinitesimal mass that slip through the universe, earth and even our bodies without leaving a trace. Scientists study these ghostly particles for clues about supernova explosions, black holes, and gamma ray bursts, which in turn will shed light on the mysterious nature of dark energy and dark matter.
Friday, January 18th, 8am, PST
For our last chat with the folks at the South Pole Telescope, we will learn about the data collection. We will focus on the receiver, a very precise instrument that is a sensitive, state-of-the-art data collector with a thousand eyes pointed to the distant universe. We will also meet the scientists who will be wintering over at the South Pole for eight cold, dark months.
Friday, January 25th, 1pm, PST
Join us for more conversations with David Ainley and the penguin researchers wrapping up their field season at Adelie breeding colonies in Antarctica.