In a series of live webcasts held in celebration of the InternationalPolar Year (2007-2008), educators at the Exploratorium in San Francisco will be talking throughout themonth with scientists at McMurdo Station near the South Pole about the manyresearch projects they’re conducting. For instance, this season threegiant helium balloons will launch near McMurdo Station and circulate incircumpolar air currents above Antarctica, collecting data about cosmicrays–very high-energy particles that zip through the galaxy at nearly the speedof light. If conditions permit, Exploratorium educators will be talking withthe balloon scientists from their ice facility at Williams Field, where thegiant balloons are inflated and launched and their flights are tracked. Themuseum is holding live webcasts on this and other topics Jan. 4, 11, 12, 18,and 25, and educators also can explore its archive of previous South Polewebcasts, which feature research on penguins, ice cores taken from miles beneath the earth’s surface, and construction of a new10-meter telescope at the South Pole.

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