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3Novices:Studying interstellar dust from a balloon

In just a few days, the Pilot astrophysics experiment will be launched under a stratospheric balloon from Alice Springs in central Australia. Its aim is to observe the polarized emission of dust particles found in the interstellar medium of our galaxy and nearby galaxies.  With a mass approaching one metric ton, Pilot uses the largest balloons ever launched by CNES, the French national space agency. The experiment was developed by the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology (CNRS/CNES/Paul Sabatier University), the Institute of Space Astrophysics (CNRS/Paris-Sud University), and the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe (CEA-Irfu). The first Pilot flight was launched from Canada in September 2015; the forthcoming flight will thus be its first flight in the southern hemisphere sky, which contains more features of interest for Pilot than the northern hemisphere.http://ift.tt/2obLryj
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