Liquid helium for BICEP2 telescope

Liquid helium for BICEP2 telescope

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Credit: NSF/STEFFEN RICHTER/HARVARD UNIVERSITY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Liquid helium for BICEP2 telescope (in the background at centre left) unloaded from a LC-130 aircraft at the Geographic South Pole. Several telescopes here, operated by the USA's National Science Foundation, are used to examine the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The liquid helium, a key component for successful observations, is used to cool the detectors to 0.25 degrees above absolute zero. In March 2014, it was announced that the BICEP2 telescope had detected a distinctive pattern in the CMB that supports the inflation theory of the Big Bang. These results were obtained between January 2010 and December 2012.

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