As part of an effort to tell the story of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 60 years ago, a Cambridge, England, museum wants to hear from anyone who remembers the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Many radio amateurs and shortwave listeners (SWLs) of the era were among those thrilled to receive the satellite’s 20 MHz beacon.
The Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Museum at Cambridge University will mark the IGY anniversary later this year. The IGY was a global effort to better map and understand the planet, and it put heavy emphasis on Antarctica as well as studies of space and the atmosphere. The Polar Museum exhibition recount the story of Sputnik, the establishment of scientific bases in Antarctica, and the individuals involved in the IGY.
“Although largely forgotten now, the International Geophysical Year involved many thousands of people from all of the world and from all walks of life,” said Museum Curator Charlotte Connelly. “We’d like to capture some of those experiences in our exhibition and show the phenomenal reach of this important moment for global science.”
Contact Connelly via e-mail, if you were among those monitoring and/or spotting Earth’s first artificial satellite. The exhibit, “The Year that Made Antarctica: People, Politics, and the International Geophysical Year,” opens on April 26.