Photo courtesy of Daniel Michalik
As you can see, darkness has fully arrived here at the south pole station, and will be for the next 5 or so months. A week or so ago, we were lucky to see the above amazing view! The moon was full and due to atmospheric conditions, almost looked like a spotlight! Just to the left and above the moon, you can see Jupiter. The foreground is the Dark Sector labs of SPT, MAPO and Bicep 3, as well as the flag line that was put up so when we are doing rounds, we don’t get lost!
Photo courtesy of Hunter Davis
A few weeks prior to the bright moon shot, Hunter went and got this wonderful picture of the sustrugi and the moon in the background. The sustrugi, if I’m saying that right, are the snow/ice formations created by the wind, and can be quite impressive!
Photo courtesy of Dr. Martin Wolf
Now that the sun has bid us farewell, we are getting the beginnings of the auroras! These are caused by sun spots and how the released particles interact with our magnetic field. Auroras are common to both the North and South poles, and are actually mirror images of one another. This shot was taken from the observation deck, looking towards the clean air sector where NOAA has an observatory.
As it gets darker, it is also getting colder, depending on whether it is overcast or not. The last few days it has been clearing up, better for auroras and solar watching, but also dropping us to extreme lows. This morning we hit -92f and -130f wind chill factor. This basically means, ensure the big red and all your other ECW gear is fully equipped! We still have more then half a moon for another week or so, then, it will be pitch black out, and the only lights we can use are red. Triple digits are just around the corner!
Last week, we completed the remainder of the forced main discharge replacement in the subfloor. It was not an easy task, as we were installing larger diameter pipe, and the subfloor is extremely cramped and access was not always what we would call ideal. There were struggles, but the job was completed and water was turned back on by Friday at 1700. This was by far my largest winter project, and we are all happy that it is now behind us. I do have numerous glycol issues to deal with, as well as getting the new Summer Plumbers Jamesway squared away!