I’m In A Planetarium Show! “Chasing the Ghost Particle”

Jeffrey Donenfeld Press, Science Leave a Comment

During my deployment to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica in the Austral Summer 2012-2013, my good friend Blaise was working with the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Throughout the summer season, Blaise worked with a RED HD Video Camera and a very wide angle lens to film daily lives around the station- including mine, as well as various aspects of the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory. The footage Blaise captured was produced into the planetarium presentation “Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe“, released December 2013, and playing at planetariums nationwide. (Full Dome Database Listing) From University of Wisconsin: Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, IceCube, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the most extreme places in the universe. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive way to study powerful cosmic engines like exploding stars and black holes. In this 30-minute show, stunning simulations of the most energetic places in our universe, and the galaxies around us, are the prelude to a thrilling journey inside IceCube, looking for traces of neutrino collisions in the ice. From one of the most remote locations on Earth to the unexplored regions of the cosmos, Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe will take you on a journey you won’t forget. Since I was working on the station during filming, I’m actually in the planetarium movie a few times, which is very cool! Screen grabs included, and a “demo copy” of the film is included below. (Full show demo is …

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Shooting in Rocky Mountain National Park for Geo Magazine, Germany

Jeffrey Donenfeld Photography, Press Leave a Comment

Last month, I had the opportunity to work with international journalist Sandra Henderson shooting photos for a special report on Rocky Mountain National Park for Germany’s adventure/lifestyle magazine GEO. Here’s the result, a front page piece highlighting both my photography and Sandra’s reporting. GEO Germany, Sept 2014 – “ROCKY MOUNTAINS NATIONALPARK Wildnis für jedermann” (Front Page PDF) (Article PDF)

WAIS Divide Ice Core: Backlit Snow Pit 
A researcher examines layers in a snow pit deposited by different storms.
Credit: Dr. Kendrick Taylor (kendrick.taylor@dri.edu)

Photo from https://www.flickr.com/photos/ice_drilling/sets/72157626163425403

I’m Going Back To Antarctica To Work At The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Field Camp

Jeffrey Donenfeld Ask Me Anything, Trips Leave a Comment

After a year of training, travel, expeditioning, and preparation, this Austral Summer I’m going back to Antarctica to work with the United States Antarctic Program on an science expedition at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Field Camp, one of the most remote permanent field stations in Antarctica. I’m very excited to be going back to the ice, and luckily this time have more than the five days of preparation I had last time. Here’s a bit more information about my upcoming scientific deployment, including details on getting me to send you mail from Antarctica! My Job in Antarctica – Ice Drilling Field Specialist This year, I’ll be working at the WAIS Divide Ice Core Field Camp for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center as an Ice Drilling Design and Operations group Field and Drill Specialist. I’ll be on the ice from from December 2014 – January 2015, living and working inland in Western Antarctica . Basically, I’ll be living in a remote field camp in Antarctica working on a small team to disassemble, package, ship, and store the large DISC Drill. The DISC Drill is an ice coring drill, which has been used for past 7 years to drill 3000+ meters into the antarctica ice in order to extract pieces of ice from deep in the ice sheet. These “core samples” were then packaged up and shipped to a lab and storage facility in Denver. This season, the ice drill is due for some maintenance, upgrading, and relocation to Eastern Antarctica, and it’s my team’s job to take the whole thing apart and get it packaged up and flown back to McMurdo Base, where it will then be transported back to Madison, Wisconsin to undergo repairs and upgrades. Relevant Links and Files Regarding My Job In Antarctica Summer ’14-’15 Job Posting/Description …

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The 41st Annual Telluride Film Festival

Jeffrey Donenfeld Culture Leave a Comment

This year, I attended the 41st annual Telluride Film Festival. In order of preference, here’s a quick overview of my festival this year, with a few remarks. Program Guide (PDF) Opening Announcement (PDF) Birdman Easily the best movie of the festival. Birdman was technically excellent, well acted, with an interesting, surreal, otherworldly story. I’m still not totally sure what it was about, but it was great. The presentation as a mostly continuous steadycam shot was brilliant – it took me a bit to realize what was going on, and the single shot tied everything together. Seams between shots were brilliant, and I loved Emma Stone! The Imitation Game The cinematography was technically excellent, story was interesting, and the acting was good. Not sure I’d see this again, but I definitely enjoyed watching. I appreciated the three color themes, keeping track of the three time periods. ’71 99 Homes The Gate Rosewater Magician Forbidden Films Night Will Fall Wild Foxcatcher Where Eagles Dare

Neue Wache. From Wikipedia: "The Neue Wache (English: New Guardhouse) is a building in Berlin, the capital of Germany. It is located on the north side of the Unter den Linden boulevard in the central Mitte district. Dating from 1816, the Neue Wache was designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel and is a leading example of German Neoclassical architecture. Originally built as a guardhouse for the troops of the crown prince of Prussia, the building has been used as a war memorial since 1931."

Exploring Berlin, Germany

Jeffrey Donenfeld Trips Leave a Comment

After an epic climb up Mont Blanc in France, I jetted up to Berlin, Germany for a quick stay. My longtime friend Petra happened to be staying at a friend’s vacant apartment the week I was there, so I stayed with her, and spent the week exploring and catching up with friends. This was my first time in Germany, and I had a great time overall. Very much looking forward to going back soon to explore the rest of the country.

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Climbing Mont Blanc – 15,781 ft, Western Europe’s Highest Mountain

Jeffrey Donenfeld Trips Leave a Comment

Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe, resting on the Italian/French border and towering over the alps at almost 16,000 feet above sea level. It’s slopes are clad in thick glaciers, and it’s buffeted by constant wind. Last week, my brother Jason and I traveled to Chamonix and climbed it. Here’s the story. The week before we had spent in Cassis, Southern France relaxing on beaches and hiking around mellow coastal rocks. We were ready for a challenge, so we rented a car in Nice and drove through Italy to Chamonix, France. For the next week, accompanied with veteran mountain guide Magnus Strand, we climbed icy peaks and treacherous ridges, all leading up to a final summit push straight to the top of Mont Blanc. Video clips of the climb are coming soon…    

Exploring the Parc Floral De Paris

A Lap Through France: Cities, Beaches, Mountains, and a Wedding

Jeffrey Donenfeld Trips Leave a Comment

This August, I had the opportunity to travel back to France to see family, and friends, explore a few new parts of Paris, and attend a friend’s wedding. We started off in Paris, where my brother lives. Paris is a great city, and especially since family lives there, always feels comfortable and welcoming. After a few days in Paris, my brother, parents, and I took the train and then a rental car south to arrive in our favourite beachside town, Cassis. It was beautiful as always, with gorgeout beaches, rugged hiking, and deep blue water filtering inland through the Calanques. Ben and Cynthina’s wedding in Beaucaire was beautiful as well. The ceremony and reception took place on the grounds of an old farmhouse, and we had a great time frolicking in the open fields, picking pears, and dancing all night with the newlyweds. Congrats Ben and Cynthia! Official photos from the wedding were done by Laurent Brouzet. I’ll let the photos and captions speak for themselves – France in the summer is wonderful. Next up after the south, Jason and I ventured northward to Chamonix and Mont Blanc.