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Balloon-based Astronomy in Antarctica

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building near McMurdo Station where balloon payloads are assembled

The building near McMurdo Station, NSF's logistics hub in Antarctica, where long-duration balloon payloads are assembled.

Credit: Peter West / National Science Foundation

 

a balloon payload being prepared for launch

A balloon payload being prepared for launch.

Credit: Peter West / National Science Foundation

 

a balloon-borne experiment hoisted by a crane

A balloon-borne experiment is hoisted by a crane in preparation for transporting to the launch area near Williams Field, Antarctica.

Credit: Peter West / National Science Foundation

 

a balloon payload ferried out to launch area

A balloon payload is ferried out to the launch area.

Credit: Peter West / National Science Foundation

 

the balloon that carried the BOOMERANG telescope on its 10-day trip

With Mt. Erebus, the world's southernmost active volcano, as a backdrop, the balloon that carried the BOOMERANG telescope on its 10-day trip around the Antarctic continent is inflated. The launch was preceded by two months of assembly at McMurdo Station, NSF's logistics hub in Antarctica.

Credit: Boomerang team

 

images of the early universe as seen by the BOOMERANG experiment

In this picture, images of the early universe as seen by the BOOMERANG experiment have been overlaid onto the sky to indicate what size fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background would appear if a standard 35mm camera were sensitive to microwave light. The color map of the CMB images has been changed here to aesthetically match the rest of the picture.

Credit: Boomerang team