December 3, 2012

Rough guide to Super-TIGER watching

From the WUSTL Newsroom

by Diana Lutz

Read the full article: For more on exploring Antarctica, listen to Hold That Thought's podcast with Dr. Doug Wiens.

It’s Dec. 3 and a scattering of people in St. Louis, Mo., Pasadena, Calif., and Greenbelt, Md., are getting antsy, clicking repeatedly on to see whether anything is up yet.

Like a balloon, for example.

They’re waiting for a two-ton balloon-borne cosmic-ray experiment called Super-TIGER to be launched into the high-altitude polar vortex over Antarctica.

The experiment, which the scientists hope will confirm that cosmic rays are created in loosely organized groups of hot, massive stars called OB associations, is a collaboration of Washington University in St. Louis, the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The team also includes people from the University of Minnesota and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Once the balloon is up, the website will go live, and the balloon will begin to trace a path in red on a blue and white satellite image of the frozen continent. Click on the map to see it.