Tophat logo

The TopHat Antarctica Chronicles

TopHat in Antarctica

Hi! My name is Gwynne Crowder and I work on TopHat, a scientific project in the field of experimental cosmology. I am 20 years old and attend the University of Chicago. I am leaving for Antarctica on November 6 and should be there through approximately January 15.

While I'm on *the ice*, I am keeping in contact with some 5th and 6th grade classes. On this webpage, I will share what my experiences are like in a travel journal, have pictures to show, and run some experiments with the students. Before I left, I visited the classes, one in Carlisle, Indiana and one in St. Paul, Minnesota so that I could introduce myself and what I'm doing to the students. Please go see the pictures from these presentations! Also, there are some pictures from the place where I work. If you have any questions or comments, PLEASE send them to me at To check out answers to questions that I have received click here.

Antarctic Experiments for Beginning Scientists

The Solar Locator Project

*The vital information*

Who: University of Chicago (my school!), University of Wisconsin, NASA and the Danish Space Research Institute.

What: We are releasing a helium balloon that will go above about 99% of the atmosphere.

Where: We release the balloon from McMurdo, Antarctica. McMurdo is on Ross Island in the Ross Sea.

Why: To measure the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. From our measurements, we will be able to calculate the total mass and energy of our universe. This means we can determine the age and fate of our universe.

When: The actual balloon launch will take place between December 25 and January 15. The flight will take about 2 weeks.


Check out these links...

Email: Gwynne Crowder

Definitions of Weather Conditions