Less than a week after its inauguration on January 17, 2019, the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder telescope (pSCT), a telescope design proposed for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), successfully detected its first Cherenkov light on January 23 at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in Arizona. A dual-mirrored medium-sized telescope, the SCT is proposed to cover the middle of CTA’s energy range (80 GeV–50 TeV).
Time flies, even at the South Pole. The winterover staff are getting ready for the pending station close—here IceCube winterover Kathrin is parking one of the last Hercs to have landed for awhile.
IceCube winterovers Benjamin and Kathrin are showing off a thermometer reading from last week, when temperatures in Madison, WI, and many other midwestern areas were colder than at the Pole.
Flight delays are not uncommon at the South Pole, which can be frustrating. But sometimes there’s an upside, as there was for a recent cohort of IceCube personnel waiting to leave the Pole. They were rewarded for their delay with a flight out on a Basler aircraft (much smaller than the Herc they were waiting on), which gave them fantastic views on the way to McMurdo Station.
Even though the end of the summer season feels like it’s fast approaching, things have still been busy at the South Pole. Work got underway for both the new surface radio antennas and the new IceAct telescopes.
There were different groups of South Pole visitors last week—some human, and some not. The nonhuman visitor came from Japan—IceCube-san, seen here on the snow outside the IceCube Lab. The other visitors were adventure travelers, who were based at a campsite not far from the station.