The Martin A. Pomerantz (MAPO) building is named for Martin A. Pomerantz, the first true Antarctic astronomer. He first foresaw the potential of the South Pole in 1964 while working on a cosmic ray experiment, and quickly returned to make some solar observations. In 1979, he made the first serious solar observations from the Pole. The MAPO building was dedicated in the 1995 season.This is the MAPO building in 1995. The SPIREX tower is on the right; there are other smaller telescopes mounted on the top of the MAPO building. Since 1995, there has been a second tower built on the other side of the MAPO building to house Viper, one of the CMBR experiments. Labs and control rooms for most of the CARA projects (as well as the AMANDA project) are inside the MAPO building on the second floor. (The first floor is a machine shop, storage, etc.)
The building is on stilts because buildings that are on the surface of the ice, like the dome, tend to trap the blowing snow and steadily get buried. However, buildings on stilts let the snow blow through them, so the snow doesn't accumulate. Remember also that the ice is moving, flowing at a rate of about 10 meters/year.
Most of the pictures here are from when the virtual tour was originally written, in 1995. The first few are more recent. We're working on getting more current images.
Rodney Marks, the 1997-1998 winter-over and usually based at the University of New South Wales, in the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory building with Al Fowler.
Fred Mrozek, University of Chicago Engineering Center, at work in the SPIREX-MAPO bridge.
Rodney Marks and Paul Martini having a discussion in the MAPO building.
Pictures from 1995.
There are labs in the MAPO building as well. Here, Fred Mrozek works on the Celestrons that are part of the ATP project but mounted on the SPIREX telescope. He's actually working in the walkway that goes from the MAPO building to the SPIREX tower, which is closed off in the winter because it is insufficiently insulated.
Here, the winterovers for 1995 pose on top of the MAPO building: left to right, Jamie Lloyd, Mike Masterman, and Richard Chamberlin.
One thing that makes AMANDA (Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array) unique is that it uses the whole Earth as a detector! High energy neutrinos moving through the Earth sometimes interact just right with the Earth so as to create a little bit of light. The AMANDA project puts special detectors, called phototubes, deep in the ice to watch for this light.
This is one of the AMANDA scientists holding a phototube...
...and this is one of the holes they drill in the ice. They use hot water as drilling fluid!
For more information about AMANDA, visit their website. For lots more pictures, see Robert Schwarz's work pictures from 1997.