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University to premier planetarium polar show

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was completed in December 2010 after seven years of construction. It was built under an NSF Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction grant, with assistance from partner funding agencies around the world.

The UW-River Falls Physics Department and the Society of Physics Students will present the full-dome planetarium show, “Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe,” at the UWRF Planetarium in Room 201 of the Agricultural Science building at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27.

Refreshments will be available at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The show takes a 30-minute trip from the most extreme places in the universe to inside the IceCube telescope, a huge detector buried deep in the Antarctic ice.

IceCube is designed to chase neutrinos coming from the distant universe. Neutrinos are extremely small particles that are almost undetectable, earning them the nickname “ghost particles.”

They are expected to reveal new information about some of the most powerful environments in the cosmos, expanding the understanding of black holes and exploding stars beyond what’s been gathered from other types of telescopes.

UWRF has been a member of the IceCube Collaboration and its predecessor AMANDA since 1998.

Four Physics Department staff members and three students have deployed to Antarctica for research. More than 50 undergraduates have worked on these projects at UWRF in the last 15 years.