July, 2008....J. Dana Hrubes...updated July 31, 2008 , 1830 GMT

spt moon shadow
The setting moon behind South Pole Telescope projects a shadow of the telescope  
 onto the exhaust plume from the furnace of the dark sector laboratory

July, for me, is usually the turning point of the winter. After July, the remainder of the winter seems to fly by and the next thing I know its November and time to pack up and leave for Christchurch, New Zealand again. July and August are the coldest months; however, we have not reached or exceeded a temperature of -100 F yet, only -98.7, although it will most likely occur in August.

Once again, the frequency and intensity of auroras this month were minimal due to the solar minimum we are experiencing, but I did manage to capture a few good ones.    SPT and aurora-1     SPT and aurora-2    SPT and aurora-3      SPT and aurora-4   SPT under the milky way    

aurora over SPT
Aurora Australis over South Pole Telescope(SPT) and the dark sector laboratory (DSL)

We had one of the rare times when atmospheric conditions were just right when the moon was up which resulted in a diamond shaped moon. I have only seen this once before in four years at the Pole. My co-worker Kieth captured these interesting photos.       diamond moon       diamond moon behind SPT    

Here is another photo I captured of the moon shadow of SPT projected on to the exhaust plume from our furnace.
SPT moon shadow-close-up     SPT moon shadow wide angle  

A snowmobile dragging a sled with liquid helium and liquid nitrogen dewars pulls up to DSL at -85 oF
while the full moon was setting, not to rise again for two weeks

Steffen (BICEP telescope winterover), Keith, and I rarely have any outside lights on. One occasion is when Steff is getting a cryogenics delivery. That is when he turns on the red light to be able to use the hoist to bring liquid helium and liquid nitrogen dewars up tot he second floor.         red light at DSL     red light at DSL - 2    

Here are some photos in the South Pole Telescope control room right under the massive telescope.  The first photos are of the azimuth wrap - these are all the electrical power cables, signal cables, fiber optics cables and compressed helium lines that feed the telescope. They are wound in a helix so the telescope is free to move a total of 540 degrees in azimuth before it must turn in the opposite direction. The pedestal cone contains the azimuth wrap and also bears the weight of the entire telescope.   pedestal cone    azimuth wrap inside the pedestal    azimuth wrap feeding the yoke cabin       me in the control room    

The other side of the control room is where all of the telescope servo motor drives and electronics are housed and is also where the huge sliding telescope docking rolling roof door is where we can dock the telescope and crawl up inside the receiver cabin work on any of the subsystems there.      servo drive and electronics cabinets    troubleshooting up in the receiver cabin with the telescope docked    
working on top of the receiver cabin at -92 F
I'm working on top of the receiver cabin with a red-filtered headlamp at -92 F
under the stars while the telescope is in the docked position. The inside of the
heated receiver cabin is accessible from below through the huge overhead door
in the control room.

August: The coldest month!

A Real-Time Photo of South Pole Station as Seen from the ARO Building (live when satellite is up)
A Comprehensive South Pole Web Site by Bill Spindler
Winterover Web Pages (Bill Spindler's List)