It is now totally dark and the South Pole sky is alive. The barometric pressure has been very low. This affects the altitude. As pressure decreases the body feels a higher altitude. The physical altitude of the South Pole is 9,300 feet. This week the physiological altitude has been well above 11,000 feet which sometimes make simple tasks harder.
|I heated tomato soup...|
|along with grilled cheese sandwiches.|
|Many station activities.|
|61 years of South Pole winter-over pictures on the station hall of fame.|
|Posters on the station wall.|
|We recently covered all windows with cardboard to eliminate outside white light which is detrimental to dark science. This window is across from the electronics office. I added the picture of my family.|
|A fantastic sunset picture. Photo Credit: Martin Wolf|
Once again I am re-posting from 2013 about South Pole water as it has not changed.
For many years water at the South Pole was obtained by various energy and labor intensive approaches for gathering and melting snow. Until 1995 heavy machinery was used to gather snow and dump it into a mechanical ice melter. US Army Engineer Corps Raul Rodriquez developed a new approach to the ice melters. A well shaft is sunk 250 feet beneath the surface where heat is used to create a bulb shaped pool of warm water. Steam is generated in a sub-surface compartment and piped down to the well pocket. Water in the well cavity is always kept above zero degrees with the use of steam and thus the well cavity and reservoir expand over time to provide drinking water.
A typical "Rodwell" lasts 7 years or until the well becomes too deep and becomes energy intensive to extract the water. A new well is then developed. A Rodwell can provide up to 1 million gallons of fresh water before it becomes to deep to economically extract water. The South Pole is currently using Rodwell 3. This well provides the purest and oldest drinking water on earth as the current glacial ice is hundreds of years old.
|The outside structure.|
|Ice tunnel leading to the well.|
|A drawing of Scott's Expedition.|
|The autographed book of Amundsen's expedition.|
|Overlooks the big gym.|
|My wife sent this space view of the Antarctic and surrounding winter sea-ice. The tip of South America points towards the |
Antarctic peninsula. New Zealand and Australia are to the right.