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'Telescope In The Ice' Author Details Cutting-Edge South Pole Science

The Icecube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole sits atop an array of detectors buried deep within the clear antarctic ice.
Courtesy of National Science Foundation
The Icecube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole sits atop an array of detectors buried deep within the clear antarctic ice.

It's a cutting-edge telescope buried a mile under the ice at the South Pole, but in many ways, the Icecube Neutrino Observatory is hardly a telescope at all. It doesn't point up at the sky; in fact, it points down, looking through the earth. It's just one of the paradoxical parts of a new field of astronomy looking at the universe by tracking the elusive “ghost particle” known as the neutrino. 

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Credit JIM HAUGEN / National Science Foundation
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National Science Foundation
A digital optical module sensor is being lowered into a hole in the Antarctic ice. The IceCube detector on the continent consists of 86 strings of sensors, each strung deep down below the surface.

Mark Bowen is a writer who calls the Northeast Kingdom home. A self-described “recovering physicist,” he joined Vermont Edition to talk about his book, "The Telescope in the Ice: Inventing a New Astronomy at the South Pole," and to explain the new field of astronomy emerging from this unique telescope.

Broadcast on Monday, June 25, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

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