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First Light for the South Pole Telescope
First Light for the South Pole Telescope
27 Feb 2007
(Source: University of Chicago)

First light achieved with the 10-m South Pole Telescope, February 16, 2007.

Last night the 10-meter South Pole Telescope with its camera operating at millimeter wavelengths and cooled to 1/4 degree above absolute zero achieved first light. Maps of Jupiter at wavelengths at 2 mm and 3 mm were obtained by scanning the telescope across the planet. These maps showed the telescope, camera and optics are working as designed. First light with the SPT is a major milestone for the project and is a fitting conclusion to a remarkably productive summer season for the South Pole Station. We now look forward to fully characterizing the instrument and beginning cosmological observations.

The efforts of a large team are responsible for the success of the SPT. The team includes members from nine academic institutions, the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, the U.S Antarctic Program, General Dynamics/VertexRSI, and the Raytheon Polar Support Company. We are grateful for all their support.

More information can be found about the telescope at

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Last Updated: 28 Feb 2007