Cold, Clear Nights and Cosmic Radiation
Although the future of Antarctica is still uncertain (The Scientist, Nov. 13, 1989, page 2), scientists continue to brave the harsh weather conditions for the sake of research. The newest addition to the list of hardy researchers is a team of physicists from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The team, organized by Purdue physicist James A. Gaidos, will travel to Antarctica in shifts until the end of February to construct the first permanent optical telescope at the South Pole. The team hopes to use the telescope to collect data on cosmic radiation. "The first year or so will be a feasibility test," says Gaidos, who adds that the task of adapting the telescope, with its ten 32-inch mirrors, to the climate of Antarctica is far from complete. Gaidos and his colleagues have built a "cold box,"...

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