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Aurora over South Pole Telescope


<em>Aurora Australis</em> over 10-meter South Pole Telescope

Aurora australis ("southern lights") blankets the sky overhead of the 10-meter South Pole Telescope at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. The telescope collects data on cosmic microwave background radiation and black matter.

Like its more familiar counterpart, the aurora borealis, or "northern lights," the aurora australis is caused by the solar wind passing through the upper atmosphere. But the aurora australis is much less frequently observed because so few people live on Antarctica during the austral winter.

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is one of three U.S. research stations on the Antarctic continent. All of the stations are operated by the National Science Foundation's U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP). Further information about USAP is available Here. To learn more about the South Pole Telescope, visit the facility's website. (Date of Image: June 2008)

Credit: Keith Vanderlinde, National Science Foundation
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