Scientists and technicians are preparing to launch three research balloons from Antarctica over the next few weeks. Climate conditions over the continent form a vortex that allows the instrument-carrying balloons to circle around Antarctica for weeks at a time, then drop down on the ice for recovery. The research balloons will study X-rays from space, cosmic rays, and other phenomena. This photo shows launch preparations from a previous year. [NASA]

Find out more in our radio program entitled Circling Antarctica .

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