Archive for June, 2008

Planet to Planet Solstice

Friday, June 27th, 2008

The Phoenix Mars Mission has dedicated one of yesterday’s photos to the South Pole winter-overs. On Wednesday we had a phone call with the Phoenix team on the occasion of the near alignment of the terrestrial and martian solstice. Sadly, I missed the call due to the ever popular bathroom cleaning duty.

Planet to Planet Solstice

[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, Solstice, Midwinter, Mars[/tags]

Son of Polestock

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Time just flies and we already reached the winter solstice. The solstice marks mid-winter, which is a very special day in Antarctica. From now on the sun will be winding its way back up and we should see some light from below the horizon in August. This is our very own Antarctic holiday and Antarctic Stations use the occasion to exchange greetings with each other.

We had a big formal dinner on Friday night. Formal means anything other the blue boots or bunny boots. Some folks managed to wear a suit, some of us managed a clean t-shirt, and some of us didn’t manage to show up. Those of us who did were treated to a great multi-course meal. I had to go to work after dinner and by the time I got back the Station was all quiet. I think most people crashed early to safe some energy for Saturday night.

Son Of Polestock 2008

Saturday we had another eclectic mix of bands playing at the “Son of Polestock” festival in the Gym. I had to work and I was only there for the beginning and the end, but I could listen to the middle part via our live Internet stream. Once I got back I had a few beers and it was a really good party. I think I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

Mike and Siah


4 Paws For Trapper

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

You may have noticed that the page peel in the top right corner of this site is gone. This is good news! I’m happy to report that Trapper’s family raised the funds for his Autism Assistance Dog. I’m glad that the South Pole family could contribute in a small way. Thanks to everyone who helped. You can still help others by making a donation to http://www.4PawsForAbility.org.

Here at the South Pole we are getting close to our traditional midwinter celebration. After several weeks of nice cold weather with clear skies, perfect conditions for CMB observations, we have hit a bit of a heatwave at around 50°C with blowing snow and even snow fall. Not great for CMB and lots of snow to clean from the telescope ground shield. The interesting thing is that even with all this nice and cold weather we haven’t hit -100F yet. Good thing the 300 Club has a live long membership.

[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, Charity, CMB, 300 Club[/tags]

Safety Equipment Delivered

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Our brothers and sisters in McMurdo made the headlines in the Christchurch paper. The Press reported that 16,488 condoms were delivered. Little do they know that they disappear into the pockets of overly optimistic hoarders early in the season, only to be taken back to New Zealand well past their expiration date. I know, very scary. Read On