My Travel Map

My Travel Map

11 January 2006

South Pole: Day Twenty-something...

Ok, I messed the order up on these...but oh well. This is one of the crazy solar effects here at the South Pole. It is called a "false dawn." You cant see it in this picture, but the sun was really up in the sky when this was taken. I don't know if this is because of the ice crystals in the air, like the sun dog, but whatever causes it, the sun gets this reflection on the horizon directly below it, making it look like a second sun is rising directly underneath the normal one!

This is a shot taken from the air of the entire station. You might have to get out a magnifying glass...but you can make out ARO (where our instruments are) at the very bottom left (the little spot). The New Station is the biggest building (left-center) with the dome as the dark splotch next to it. "Summer camp" is that large stretch of buildings and whatnot that lie above the station in the picture. The ice runway runs down the center of the shot and to the right of that is the dark sector where the telescopes and IceCube (the nuetrino detector) are. Notice that the walk to ARO is really long (somewhere between a quarter and third of a mile). I'll get to that in a few.

This is another of the amazing and crazy things that the sun does at the South Pole. It is called a "sun dog," and it is a lovely spectacle that occurs because of the ice crystals in the air. As you can tell, the sun gets those halos around it and bright points form at various points throughout the halo....really really neat!

Speaking of that long walk to ARO, here's Neal and I just getting in: notice the frost on our beard hair. The moisture in our breath freezes to pretty much anything it touches...yes, it is that cold here.

And here is Dr. Azeem, Dr. McEwen (in the doorway), and myself, obviously very hard at work.


Teri said...

Those pictures are amazing. (brrr....) Thanks for sharing them with us!

Neal said...

Great pix. Don't forget to keep posting once you start travelling again.