U2 Anisotropy Experiment in Peru:

In order to see that our newly discovered CMB dipole anisotropy was not an artifact, a campaign was mounted to make observations from the southern hemisphere. If the same dipole pattern was also observed in the southern sky, that would confirm our observation and support the interpretation that was due to our motion in the Solar System's orbit around the Galaxy. Southern hemisphere data would also reduce our errors particularly in direction.

Northern Sky Coverage showing where observations were made prior to the Peru campaign.

The experiment was flown aboard the NASA Ames U2 jet aircraft. It turned out to be extremely difficult to mount a campaign to the south. There was considerable physical and political risk to the aircraft. We would like to have gotten fairly far south - e.g. Australia or southern South America. The flight to Australia would be too long and thus risky. There were political issues important at the time other places. However, the Peru was pleased and supportive of our mounting flights from the Lima airport. One end of the Airport was the commerical & civilian Jorge Chavez (a famous pioneer aviator) International Airport and on the other end was a Naval Air Station. In between the US had a small building which was used for diplomatic mail station routing diplomatic mail to the various embassies and back to the US. The US building would be our home base for keeping our small equipment and tools, including our polarization experiment which operated on the roof for a month. The U2 was kept in a near-by hangar provided by our Peruvian hosts.

We were able to make a number of observations and they confirmed and improved our northern sky observations.

More material to come

Some interesting photographs: