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This Is Why Astronomers Love The South Pole

Posted by Austin Tedesco  March 19, 2014 03:34 PM

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A group of scientists led by a Harvard astronomer made a groundbreaking discovery on Monday that strengthened the Big Bang theory.

The scientists directly observed gravitational wave patterns using this telescope in the South Pole:

Keith Vanderlinde/Reuters/National Science Foundation

National Geographic explains:

Using a small but powerful telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station high up on the Antarctic plateau, the team of researchers put up with the harsh conditions to come up with one of the most important breakthroughs in cosmology.

"The South Pole is the closest you can get to space and still be on the ground," said John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts, and leader of the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP) collaboration. "It's one of the driest and clearest locations on Earth, perfect for observing the faint microwaves from the Big Bang."

Here's another look:

Associated Press/Steffen Richter

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