Wayne State University

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Science Under the Dome


Science Under the Dome is back for the Winter 2017 semester!  We have monthly talks lined up for January - April.

Join us Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:00pm for

The Geographic South Pole and its Telescopes

presented by

Jerry Dunifer

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Wayne State University


My talk will describe an expedition I made in January 2016 to the Geographic South Pole with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE). ALE operates the only private camp sites on the Antarctic continent: Union Glacier Base Camp, located at 80 degrees south latitude in the interior of the continent, and the South Pole Camp, located about one kilometer from the South Pole. After acclimatizing at the Base Camp, we were flown to the landing strip adjacent to the South Pole. The National Science Foundation (NSF) operates a research base at this location, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. In this talk I’ll describe the main NSF base and the two major astronomical observatories at this site: Ice Cube and the South Pole Telescope. Ice Cube is a neutrino observatory encompassing one cubic kilometer of ice below the surface. It detects elusive neutrinos arriving from throughout the Cosmos. These high-energy neutrinos provide information to probe the most violent astrophysical sources, such as exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and events involving black holes and neutron stars. The South Pole Telescope operates in the millimeter and sub-millimeter part of the electromagnetic spectrum and has been used in a study of the Cosmic Background Radiation resulting from the Big Bang.

This is a free event, but, attendance is limited - please be sure to RSVP!

Schedule for Winter 2017:

January 19, 2017 Prof. Ed Cackett, Wayne State Mapping Black Holes
February 16, 2017 Prof. Emily Rauscher, University of Michigan Peering into the Atmospheres of Strange New Worlds
March 23, 2017 Prof. David Cinabro, Wayne State

Exploding Stars, Life, The Universe, and Everything

April 20, 2017 Prof. Jerry Dunifer, Wayne State

The Geographic South Pole and Its Telescopes


The Wayne State Planetarium is dedicated to the promotion of science. We are proud to feature a series of free public lectures covering modern topics in science.