University of Arizona Tucson
Supporting Stations: South Pole Station
Research Locations: Ridge A
Stars within the Milky Way are formed when giant gas clouds, composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, collapse under their own gravity, thus heating up the gas to the point where nuclear fusion is triggered, and stars are formed. The life cycles of these interstellar clouds drive the internal evolution of all galaxies. This HEAT's science team studied the earliest stages of the formation of these clouds by observing the spectra from certain atomic and molecular species, which serve as tracers of these clouds. Outside of space, the Antarctic plateau on which the HEAT telescope is located is one of the few places on Earth that these observations can be made.
Field Season Overview:
This austral summer researchers will deploy the second generation HEAT telescope and refuel and refurbish the Plateau Observatory (PLATO). The field party of American and Australian grantees will be based at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station where they will acclimate while assembling and testing the new instrument. A lesser number of team members will travel to Ridge A by Twin Otter for a 2-4 day field deployment intended to maximize the probability of success given the remoteness of the site, attention to safety, and accounting for difficult working conditions at altitude.
Deploying Team Members:
Craig Kulesa (PI)