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NCSA Fellow Melanie Archipley got to do astronomy research at the South Pole

A white woman with blond hair, glasses, and a red coat is standing in front of a large white disc. In the background is a vast landscape of snow and ice, and blue sky.

There aren’t many people that have the opportunity to visit the South Pole, with tourist trips costing in the tens of thousands. But, if you are graduate student in Astronomy, and an NCSA CAPS Fellow whose research centers around data analysis for the South Pole Telescope, then you just might have an in.

Melanie Archipley got that opportunity at the end of 2022. She traveled the long journey to the Admundson Scott station, where she spent the better part of a year getting hands on experience with the telescope, help with the recovery of SPIDER (a “balloon-borne instrument measuring primordial gravitational waves” that was launched in 2022), working on her Ph.D thesis, and even ran a half marathon. At the South Pole.

You can read more about her experience, and I definitely encourage you to do that, at the NCSA website.

Managing Editor

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