Week 20 at the Pole

With record-breaking winds last week, the South Pole station spent a few days in lockdown mode, restricting off-station travel to critical operations only. Staying indoors might put a halt to outdoor photography plans, but it doesn’t hamper fun activities held indoors. Last week, the station had a burger bar (that’s IceCube winterover Kalvin, above, whipping […]

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Week 19 at the Pole

There they are—those big, expansive, colorful auroras that seem to fill the sky! The highlight for last week at the Pole might have been the auroras, but it’s worth noting that capturing these lovely photographs required braving really cold temperatures and high winds. Still, auroras alone might be enough motivation for some folks to venture […]

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Search for elusive sterile neutrino continues with improved high-energy muon neutrino reconstruction in IceCube

Neutrinos are tiny “ghostlike” particles that traverse long distances across the universe, interacting with matter only through the weak force. They come in three different types or “flavors”—electron, muon, and tau—and during their journey through the atmosphere and the Earth can transform from one flavor to another. This phenomenon, called neutrino oscillation, is a subject […]

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Week 18 at the Pole

A very large moon halo dominated the sky, here seen above the South Pole Telescope when conditions were just right last week. IceCube’s winterovers were busy as usual last week, and a few of their activities took them outside. With clear weather, they were able to enjoy views of auroras (no photos though) in addition […]

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Measurement of atmospheric neutrino oscillation parameters using convolutional neural networks with high precision

As cosmic rays crash into the Earth’s atmosphere, air showers containing atmospheric muons and neutrinos are produced. The atmospheric neutrinos are then detected by DeepCore, a denser array of sensors in the center of the IceCube detector at the South Pole. Compared to the main IceCube detector, DeepCore is sensitive to neutrinos down to energies […]

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Joint search for candidate galactic PeVatrons using data from IceCube, HAWC

The origins of extremely energetic particles, called cosmic rays, continue to puzzle astronomers. Some of the highest energy cosmic ray protons can reach one million billion electronvolts (PeV) in energy, but the sources of these protons, or PeVatrons, have been difficult to pin down.  Cosmic rays accelerated by PeVatrons produce pions when interacting with surrounding […]

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Week 17 at the Pole

When it’s really cold outside—like with temperatures approaching -100°F!—it’s nice to have lots of fun things going on indoors at the Pole. Sure, there was work, and IceCube winterovers Connor and Kalvin had plenty to do: multiple webcasts for the IceCube Masterclass, deployment testing for the latest data acquisition software release, and debugging the IceACT […]

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Francis Halzen elected to National Academy of Sciences 

University of Wisconsin–Madison physicist Francis Halzen has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Halzen is one of 120 scientists elected this year in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, according to the academy’s announcement of the new members this week. Election to the academy is among the highest honors that a scientist can receive. […]

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Successful testing of over 10,000 photomultiplier tubes for IceCube Upgrade digital optical modules

At the South Pole, the cubic-kilometer-sized IceCube Neutrino Observatory searches for high-energy neutrinos of astrophysical origin. When a neutrino crashes into the ice, blue light is emitted and detected by some of IceCube’s 5,160 digital optical modules (DOMs) across 86 vertical cables (strings) embedded deep within the Antarctic ice. The IceCube Upgrade, an enhancement to […]

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Week 16 at the Pole

Even though sunset is always a slow and gradual process at the South Pole, it does seem like the “darkness” comes all of a sudden. Last week, those at the Pole were treated to the first large aurora of the season. In the image above, the aurora spreads across the sky as a long horizontal […]

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