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BLAST The Movie
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A first for this blog, a movie review, again on the theme of the International Year of Astronomy. BLAST The Movie tells the the tale of an intrepid team of scientists hoping to travel back in time ... on a balloon.
Yes, it sounds like science fiction, but it isn't. BLAST is an acronym for Balloon-borne Large Aperature Sub-millimetre Telescope. The BLAST project, lead by principal investigators, Mark Devlin and Barth Netterfield, was a project to both train graduate astrophysics students and to probe into views of the very early universe.

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RE: BLAST balloon
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A film following the adventures of an international team of astrophysicists, including a Cardiff scientist, as they explore the origins of the universe is being shown at the University.
Blast! follows the story of a tenacious group of scientists, including Dr Enzo Pascale of the School of Physics and Astronomy, as they launch a state-of-the-art telescope on a NASA high altitude balloon.

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BLAST-pol
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Title: The Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarisation: BLAST-pol
Authors: G. Marsden, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, J. Chung, M. J. Devlin, S Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, C. J. MacTavish, P. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, T. G. Matthews, P. Mauskopf, L. Moncelsi, C. B. Netterfield, G. Novak, E. Pascale, L. Olmi, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, G. Savini, D. Scott, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, D. Ward-Thompson, D. V. Wiebe

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a sub-orbital experiment designed to study the process of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and in galaxies at cosmological distances. Using a 2-m Cassegrain telescope, BLAST images the sky onto a focal plane, which consists of 270 bolometric detectors split between three arrays, observing simultaneously in 30% wide bands, centred at 250, 350, and 500 microns. The diffraction-limited optical system provides a resolution of 30" at 250 microns. The pointing system enables raster-like scans with a positional accuracy of ~30", reconstructed to better than 5" rms in post-flight analysis. BLAST had two successful flights, from the Arctic in 2005, and from Antarctica in 2006, which provided the first high-resolution and large-area (~0.8-200 deg^2) submillimeter surveys at these wavelengths. As a pathfinder for the SPIRE instrument on Herschel, BLAST shares with the ESA satellite similar focal plane technology and scientific motivation. A third flight in 2009 will see the instrument modified to be polarisation-sensitive (BLAST-Pol). With its unprecedented mapping speed and resolution, BLAST-Pol will provide insights into Galactic star-forming nurseries, and give the necessary link between the larger, coarse resolution surveys and the narrow, resolved observations of star-forming structures from space and ground based instruments being commissioned in the next 5 years.

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RE: BLAST balloon
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RE: BLAST the movie
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Looking for a unique present or just want to participate in creating an independent film adventure story?

BLAST follows an intrepid team of young cosmologists as they journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic to launch a unique telescope on a massive NASA high-altitude balloon. The multi-million dollar Balloon-bourne, Large Aperture, Sub-millimetre Telescope (BLAST) floats to the top of the atmosphere where it travels with the wind as it measures faint light from the most ancient galaxies to learn how the first generation of stars were formed. BLAST is a story that will change your attitude about science and reveal a side of science youve never seen before one where scientists are explorers, engineers, and often adventurers whose laboratory is the entire universe.
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Title: The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope: BLAST
Authors: E. Pascale, P. A. R. Ade, J. J. Bock, E. L. Chapin, J. Chung, M. J. Devlin, S Dicker, M. Griffin, J. O. Gundersen, M. Halpern, P. C. Hargrave, D. H. Hughes, J. Klein, C. J. MacTavish, G. Marsden, P. G. Martin, T. G. Martin, P. Mauskopf, C. B. Netterfield, L. Olmi, G. Patanchon, M. Rex, D. Scott, C. Semisch, N. Thomas, M. D. P. Truch, C. Tucker, G. S. Tucker, M. P. Viero, D. V. Wiebe

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) is a sub-orbital survey-experiment designed to study the evolutionary history and processes of star formation in local galaxies (including the Milky Way) and galaxies at cosmological distances. The BLAST continuum camera, which consists of 270 detectors distributed between 3 arrays, observes simultaneously in broad-band (30%) spectral-windows at 250, 350, and 500 micron. The optical design is based on a 2m diameter Cassegrain telescope, providing a diffraction-limited resolution of 30" at 250 micron. The gondola pointing system enables raster-like maps of arbitrary geometry, with a repeatable positional accuracy of ~30" post-flight pointing reconstruction to ~<5" rms is also achieved. The on-board telescope control software permits autonomous execution of a pre-selected set of maps, with the option of manual intervention. In this paper we describe the primary characteristics and measured in-flight performance of BLAST. Since a test-flight in 2003, BLAST has made two scientifically productive long-duration balloon flights: a 100-hour flight from ESRANGE (Kiruna), Sweden to Victoria Island, northern Canada in June 2005, and a 250-hour, circumpolar-flight from McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in December 2006.

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www.BlastTheMovie.com
BLAST follows an international team of scientists as they launch a
massive balloon into the upper reaches of the atmosphere with a
multi-million dollar telescope dangling below. A successful launch
brings insight into origins of the Universe. Failure wastes 5 years of
effort and jeopardizes the careers of the researchers. BLAST explores
the human face of this complex scientific endeavor.
http://BlastTheMovie.com
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A scientific balloon designed to make the first-ever measurements of high-energy neutrinos has completed a 35-day flight over Antarctica, said University of Hawaii professor Peter Gorham, who is leading the project.
As the high-altitude balloon cruised at 120,000 feet above the Antarctic continent, 40 antennas listened for bursts of radio waves like "mini-lightning bolts" from high-energy neutrinos interacting deep within the ice.

"At this point we can't say if we detected any neutrinos" - Peter Gorham, professor of physics and astronomy, explaining that most of the data has yet to be analysed by the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna team.

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Credit Kim Palladino/OhioState

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ANITA
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At 13.40 on 15 December, a giant balloon carrying an equally gigantic payload lifted off from McMurdo station in Antarctica. Steve Barwick was glad to see it go. Maybe 'twas the season, but the device he had spent two years building had begun to remind him of a Christmas tree. However, the adornments on this 6-metre-tall hulk are radio antennas rather than baubles. And far from being decorative, this device is now turning the ice continent into the world's biggest particle detector.
Barwick, of the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues developed ANITA - the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna experiment - to detect ultra-high-energy neutrinos from sources outside our galaxy. If ANITA succeeds, it will become the first detector to spot such neutrinos. It could also help shed light on the origin of mysterious ultra-high-energy (UHE) cosmic rays, charged particles arriving on Earth at nearly the speed of light.

Souyrce

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