June, 2008....J. Dana Hrubes...updated June 30, 2008 , 2300 GMT

aurora at the Pole
Aurora Australis over the Geographic South Pole, 90o South Latitude

June is the month when we celebrate the midwinter solstice. It means that we have lived through 3 months without the sun and there are 3 months until sunrise on September 21st. As for me, I get sad when the sun starts to rise because it means that the magic of walking miles each day to work and back under the beautiful skies of the South Pole will be over.  But for now, we still have plenty of darkness left and the two coldest months are just beginning, July and August. I hope to beat my record low of -110.7 F (almost -80 C) which was in early August, 2005. I personally would like to experience -118 F and break the all time record since records at the Pole began in 1957. That also happens to be the temperature that carbon dioxide freezes at this altitude (over 10,000 ft equivalent). By the way, these are actual static temperatures, not any of that wind chill nonsense. Even at temperatures below -100 F, we still hike out to the telescope every day. I haven't missed one day at South Pole Telescope since I got here on December 8, 2007.
working on SPT under the stars
The red streak from my headlamp, during this time exposure, while working on the telescope as it was docked
(photo by K. Vanderlinde)

Some photos working on the telescope

working on the docked telescope at -92 F with my red headlamp showing the scale of the immense 10 meter(33ft) dish (photo by Vanderlinde)  

standing outside of the dark sector lab (DSL) in front of SPT in the flash photo  

standing outside of the dark sector lab  (DSL) in front of SPT in the moonlight  

red floodlight on at DSL in preparation for a cryogenics delivery of liquid helium for the BICEP telescope  

in the DSL getting ready to climb up on the telescope for maintenance work  

The frequency of auroral activity has been very low during this year of the solar minimum. Despite that fact, we have experienced some very nice light shows.
aurora over the dark sector
Aurora Australis over the dark sector and the Ice Cube Neutrino Laboratory

aurora over the dark sector lab and the BICEP CMB telescope        another aurora over the dark sector lab and the BICEP CMB telescope

aurora over South Pole Telescope - 1           aurora over South Pole Telescope - 2       aurora and jupiter(to right of) BICEP telescope

urora and the milky way (photo by Vanderlinde)       dark with only stars at SPT and DSL (photo by Vanderlinde)         

South Pole Telescope backlit by aurora          moon rising behind SPT                moon rising behind the station

aurora over the station
Aurora Australis over the new South Pole Station

The stars have been fantastic this year, We have had more clear skies than other years.
milky way over SPT
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, extends upward from South Pole Telescope (photo by K. Vanderlinde)

Midwinter Celebration Concert
For midwinter celebration we had a nice celebration dinner and we put on a concert called the son of Polestock and my band played.  I am the drummer.  

   band poster           my band    Tim, Ethan and me on drums     Tim, on guitar, and me      band        

July: Cold and Dark!

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)