Research Highlight
February 16, 2007
First light for the South Pole Telescope
by John E. Carlstrom
First light for the South Pole Telescope
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.

We are extremely thankful for the excellent and professional help of the wonderful people at the NSF Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Thank you,
the SPT team


For more information on the SPT see the SPT website.

SPT Institutions:
University of Chicago
University of California at Berkeley
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Case Western Reserve University
Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
McGill University
University of Colorado at Boulder
Cardiff University

The SPT is funded by the National Science Foundation grant OPP-0130612. Partial support is also provided by the Kavli Foundation and NSF grant PHY-0551142 through the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and its Physics Frontier Center and from the Moore Foundation.
Related Links:
KICP Members: John E. Carlstrom
Scientific projects: South Pole Telescope (SPT)