Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Spring at the South Pole

On September 29th we set our clocks forward 1 hour.

Fortunately Dennis is incorrect. Nobody lives here full time but a few people do have the privilege and honor to experience a season or two at the South Pole. I feel like I have fallen off the earth a few times this season but I am still standing. And he's right...it is very cold, almost too cold. 

A view of the groomed skiway looking towards the station which is blocked by the power plant exhaust. My work station radomes are on the right. This makes for a nice running surface.

The sun is completely above the horizon now until next March. It goes around and round counterclockwise and will slowly max out at 23.5 degrees. What a fascinating continent!

South Pole International Airport (NPX) on the right is still coming together.

The upcoming summer crew have a lot of snow drifts to remove.

Out for a Sunday morning run at the Dark Sector.

South Pole Telescope

The station's front door. I am fascinated by how the ice and snow adhere to all surfaces.

I added another layer of clothing and more warming packets. This day I was out running for 100 minutes before my feet started getting cold. This is enough time for 4 lengths of the skiway then a loop around the Dark Sector.

At the beginning of winter several flags were set out to measure snow drift.

The top of this flag is 8 feet. The drift here is about 7 1/2 feet.
This area was flat.

The station was designed to let the wind carry drifting snow under the station so that it wound not pile up underneath and block various vents. That works well.

At the beginning of winter you could walk out the beer can door directly to the Geographic South Pole marker. It is about a 15 foot climb now.

The GOES radome with the smaller stationary backup GOES antenna.

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