EBEX launched!

My colleagues, friends and collaborators on the EBEX project are in Antarctica this (Northern) winter preparing the telescope for launch. And today, they did it:

Just beautiful. (The video is from Asad Aboobaker, whose blog EBEX in Flight is documenting the mission from the field.)

EBEX is a next-generation CMB telescope, with hundreds of detectors measuring temperature and polarisation, which we hope will allow us to see the effects of an early epoch of cosmic inflation through the background of gravitational radiation that it produces. But right now, we are just hoping that EBEX catches some good winds in the Antarctic Polar Vortex and comes back around the continent after about two weeks of observing from 120,000 feet.