American Museum of Natural History
- The Universe
- The known Universe
- Exploring the dark Universe: Dark matter
- Will dark energy please come to light?
- Exploring the dark universe: Dark energy
- The cosmic microwave background
- The cosmic microwave background: A new view from the South Pole
- Our expanding Universe
- Universe glossary
- Quiz: Universe
- Exploration Questions: Universe
- Answers to Exploration Questions: Universe
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). Created by American Museum of Natural History.
Want to join the conversation?
- wont the ice or cold damage the telescope?(5 votes)
- It has to be heavily engineered for its environment, which is harsh, but not as bad as space!(2 votes)
- Why is the south pole cold it should be warm.(0 votes)
- The reason why the South pole is cold is that the atmosphere above Antarctica is much thinner. Without clouds to cover it, the bright surfaces of snow and ice reflect a large percentage of sunlight. The percentage of sunlight reflected from the surface is called albedo. In contrast, more cloud cover in the North Pole traps the heat and increases the temperature.(2 votes)