Winter at the South Pole: Six months of darkness. Ice, far as the eye can see. Sub-zero temperatures, and no flights, in or out, from February to October. But none of that has deterred astrophysicist Robert Schwarz of the University of Minnesota. He holds a place unique in history; over the past 22 years, he has spent 14 Southern Hemisphere winters at the pole, more than anyone else. Every year, roughly 50 people winter at the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, keeping the station and the many world-class experiments there, up and running. Schwarz watches over the Keck Array, a cluster of microwave telescopes at the geographic South Pole. The telescopes are observing the echoes of the Big Bang embedded in the oldest light in the universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background.
Provided by National Science Foundation/Robert Schwarz