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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
South Pole Telescope (SPT) with its new ground shield that was built around its parabolic dish during the 2011-12 austral summer. This shield will help prevent signal reflection off the white snow. One of the goals of the SPT is to determine the masses of the universe's neutrinos. Though nearly massless, they contribute to the total mass of the universe and affect its expansion. By mapping out the mass density of the universe through measurements of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) lensing, astrophysicists are trying to determine the masses of these elusive particles, and learn more about the evolution of the universe. Photographed in Antarctica on 21 January 2012.
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