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Kathryn Schaffer MiknaitisKathryn Schaffer Miknaitis dreamed of becoming an artist but fell in love with physics in graduate school. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago's Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and pursues questions about the origin and history of the universe on the South Pole Telescope team. She arrived at the South Pole in November 2007 and blogged about her work on the telescope until she left in February 2008.

Project Page: South Pole Telescope

All Posts By Kathryn Schaffer Miknaitis

Leaving on the Very Last Plane

The station is closing today. It is one day earlier than we were expecting, which means we have had a last-minute scramble to finish all… {Read More »}

Climactic Success

Everyone here is breathing a huge sigh of relief. Last night was the first night that our new set of detectors were cold enough to… {Read More »}

The Clock is Ticking

I looked up at the weather screen today and saw that the temperature had dropped to -38 F (which is actually almost exactly equal to… {Read More »}

Order & Progress

A few weeks ago, I posted pictures from a walking tour of the edges of the station. (To read that post, please click here.) Behind… {Read More »}


Last week, I had the opportunity to drive the telescope around a lot. We're not actively observing, but we are making many upgrades to the… {Read More »}

A Monumental Effort

Today, what I should be writing about is the formal dedication ceremony for the new station. This morning, the flag was taken down once and… {Read More »}

Our New Sunroof

It's been a busy couple of weeks out at the telescope. SPT postdoc Brad Benson and graduate students Martin Lueker and Joaquin Vieira installed a… {Read More »}

Like No Other: The South Pole Christmas Tree

My new favorite thing in the whole universe is the Christmas tree at the South Pole: The second I saw it... ...I fell in love… {Read More »}

What Passes for Weather

We're guaranteed to have a white Christmas (of sorts) here at the South Pole. But it won't snow. It is normally too cold here for… {Read More »}

My Wild Ride

For the last month, one of the major projects on the telescope has been measuring the surface of the 10-meter reflector and adjusting it carefully… {Read More »}