Photo courtesy of Dr. Martin Wolf
Here at the South Pole, one of the more interesting things you will see, is the above ‘green flash’ of the sun as it drops below the horizon. This is caused by our atmosphere separating the suns rays of light, allowing us to see this wonderful sight! My camera was unable to capture it very well, so thank you kindly to Dr. Martin Wolf of Ice Cube for the great shot!
Photo courtesy of Jeff Keller
Every week, one of us in our department has the duty of station rounds. We head to every out building that has power to ensure they are warm and without problems. Last week, Jeff had the honors as the sun was going down. He was able to get this awesome shot of the sun just behind the Ice Cube Lab. Looking around the station, being surrounded by hundreds of miles of ice, you would not believe how beautiful it can really get here, and this is a great example!
Today on rounds, while I was out in the Dark Sector, I took a moment to capture this shot of the South Pole Telescope. The 10 meter dish had a major upgrade this ‘summer’, as is almost ready to continue its groundbreaking work. Even as ‘warm’ as it was today, -65 f with very low winds, you can see the ice and snow building up on the sides of the buildings. Soon you won’t even be able to tell what color it once was!
This is just the 180 opposite view from the South Pole Telescope, looking back at our Antarctic home the elevated station. On the right is MAPO, and the left is the power transfer station for the Dark Sector. A flag line was installed for winter, as it can get so dark you can’t much of anything in front of you, and we really don’t want to lose anyone! More then three quarters of a mile out, depending on wind direction, this walk can be fairly rough. Due to the nature of the experiments, we can’t use our radios in the Dark Sector, and when it is finally night out for six months, can only use red lights.
Looking back towards the station from the Cryo building, where all weather balloons from NOAA and our Met folks are launched, you can see our service arches. The far left is the power plant, which you can barely make out the exhaust stacks. The open door with a light inside is the LO (logistics arch) where a DNF(do not freeze) storage area and the materials offices are located. In that arch, behind the DNF, is our food storage warehouse, then the fuel arch behind that. The partially blocked and doors closed arch, is the VMF(vehicle maintenance facility) where all the heavy equipment gets worked on, and the winter carpenters, electricians, and plumbers shops.
As you can tell, the 46 of us are really ready to stay inside this winter! It should reach -100 f with out wind chill soon, which should be fairly interesting for this Arizona boy!