Dana Hrubes...updated March 31, 2008 , 1020 GMT
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Sunset at the Geographic South Pole
March is a month of
anticipation of the upcoming dark, cold, winter along with the
excitement of watching the sun set and disappear for 6 months. watching the last of the sun
Most of the sunset this year was obscured by clouds near
the horizon, but there were a few breaks in the weather.
of the dark sector with the telescopes and flags in the sun and the
shadow of the station, a kilometer away, almost reaching the area (by keith vanderlinde) new station sunset new station flag sunset flags and station sunset pole shot ice cube neutrino laboratory ice cube drilling camp (closed for winter) South Pole Telescope sunset flag line to the dark sector at sunset after sunset-station twilight
The elevated station, the dome and skylab silhouetted by the setting sun
On the 21st of March, we had the traditional formal sunset dinner.
It was a beautiful dinner put on by the galley staff and volunteers.
dinner setup the chefs steak and lobster salmon dessert dinner
Since the weather has been getting colder, -80's F (-60's C) we are
getting a little frostier now on our way to the dark sector. We walk
about 4 miles a day to and from the telescope.
frosted face at -80 F
We had a few days where we
saw yukimarimos on the ice. I have seen these before, but only when it
is dark. This is the first time that it was light enough outside to
actually see them form, so I figured out where they come from. When the
temperature drops rapidly here (at least 20 F or so), we get some
condensation of the little moisture there is in the air which drops out
and forms hoar frost, a fluffy coating of frost, on the surface of the
ice. If the winds are right (between about 4 and 8 kts) the winds start
creating and blowing small fluffy balls of snow which grow in size as
they tumble across the Antarctic plateau, much like when a child makes
snowball. The only difference is that these small snow balls are so
fluffy that they will disintegrate easily if you touch them. holding a yukimarimo I managed to get some high-definition video of them forming.
There is an article about yukimarimos in Nature
April: the first visible aurora, stars and DARKNESS!
A Real-Time Photo of South Pole Station as Seen
from the ARO
Building (live when satellite is up)
South Pole Web Site by Bill Spindler
(Bill Spindler's List)
POLE 2007 HOME PAGE
MY BI-POLAR HOME PAGE