Month: December 2012

  • 2012 Yearly Wrapup

    2012 Yearly Wrapup

    Every year I try to do a yearly wrap-up, in order to talk about how the year has gone and about what’s coming up next. This year is no different—and so I present to you my 2012 wrap-up, written from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. This year’s post will be relatively concise, given that our…

  • The 2012 Antarctic South Pole Marathon Course Map

    The 2012 Antarctic South Pole Marathon Course Map

    Although we may be changing it sightly, here’s the current course map for the 2012 South Pole Marathon at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica.

  • Destination Alpha

    Destination Alpha is where you want to be. It’s our code name for what’s basically the front door of the station. A few pics of this grand entrance to our frozen outpost at the south pole: If you’re flying into Pole for the first time, after getting off the plane, you’ll walk a short distance…

  • SPoT2 Field Camp’s Holiday Greeting Card

    SPoT2 Field Camp’s Holiday Greeting Card

    SPoT2, Antarctica’s favourite mobile station wishes us Happy Holidays!

  • South Pole’s Plumbing Shop

    South Pole’s Plumbing Shop

    On the ice at the South Pole, we’re as self sufficient as we possible can be. When something breaks, somebody’s gotta fix it. A few days ago I went with a few friends to check out the south pole’s plumbing supply shop – this place houses everything to fix all levels of plumbing disaster –…

  • Cryo Barn’s Last Liquid Helium Transfer

    Cryo Barn’s Last Liquid Helium Transfer

    The South Pole Cryogenics Laboratory, usually known as Cryo Barn, was originally established to service various telescopes and science experiments with cryogenic cooling liquids such as Liquid Helium and Liquid Nitrogen. However, in recent years, most new experiments which operate at cold temperatures have been of the “closed loop” variety – that is, they don’t…

  • Rothera Research Station’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Rothera Research Station’s Holiday Greeting Card

    The UK wishes us Happy Holidays from Rothera Research Station, Antarctica. (Wikipedia Article)

  • Henryk Arctowski Station’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Henryk Arctowski Station’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Poland wishes us Happy Holidays from Henryk Arctowski Station, Antarctica. And here’s a nice map of their location, courtesy of Department of Antarctic Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences.

  • Mawson Station, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Mawson Station, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Australia wishes us Happy Holidays from Mawson Station, Antarctica.

  • Happy Holidays from the South Pole

    Happy Holidays from the South Pole

    Happy holidays! Last week, as is tradition, the entire Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station crew assembled by the ceremonial pole and took our all-station holiday photo. Going into the holidays has been great so far. We’ve just finished celebrating Chanukah, and have a bunch of other holiday celebrations to come. Here’s our all-hands photo, as well…

  • Palmer Station, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Palmer Station, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Traditionally, each American station and camp in Antarctica sends around a holiday greeting card every year. Here’s this year’s card from Palmer Station, showing the layout of the station on the Antarctic Penninsula. Someday I hope to make it here!

  • Scott Base, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    Scott Base, Antarctica’s Holiday Greeting Card

    New Zealand wishes us Happy Holidays from Scott Base, Antarctica.

  • It’s Snowing Today At The South Pole!

    It’s Snowing Today At The South Pole!

    Despite the fact that we’re living on an ice cap, and surrounded completely by snow at all times, it actually rarely snows here. Sure, the wind blows the snow around a lot, and we do have snowstorms consisting of snow kicked up by the wind – but we get very very little actual snowfall from…

  • The Antarctic Race Around The World – Course Rules and Map

    The Antarctic Race Around The World – Course Rules and Map

    Every year, the crew of the south pole station races around the word. And it only takes a few minutes. Virtually any mode of transportation is allowed, however most people run, or snowmobile. Although you could technically walk around the world in a few short steps right at the pole, this year the course is…

  • The South Pole Communications Office

    The South Pole Communications Office

    Communication is key – and at the south pole, communication is a vital link for the 160 or so of us who live here. In support of linking together all of the different groups of people, locations, and jobs, we have a central comms office, which handles everything. The comms situation here is complex, and…

  • The South Pole’s Fuel Supply

    At the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, huge electrical generators power our lives – they create all of the electricity and heat we need to live and work – and they’re powered by AN8 Jet Fuel. Previously I wrote about the power plant, now let’s talk about that AN8 powering the generators. The supply chain getting…

  • Shooting the South Pole’s Holiday Card

    Quick post – at noon today, the entire station population walked out to the ceremonial pole to line up for our annual holiday card photoshoot. Here’s a quick shot from among the ranks, and the official photo will be online soon-ish.

  • Landing An LC-130 Hercules

    Landing An LC-130 Hercules

    Today just before dinner, I just stood out on the Skiway and gave approach and taxi signals to an Air Force LC-130 Hercules as it slid to it’s loading position after landing here at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Here I am signaling.. it’s kinda scary having a plane sliding directly towards you, and stopping…

  • The South Pole Power Plant

    The South Pole Power Plant

    Our lives are governed by 600,000 gallons of AN8 jet fuel. That’s what literally everything at the station runs on, and without it, the south pole would be a cold, dead place. AN8 Jet Fuel is used to power both machinery and equiptment operating on the ice, as well as a huge bank of generators…

  • Bouncing Facebook Likes Off The 1978 GOES-3 Weather Satellite

    Bouncing Facebook Likes Off The 1978 GOES-3 Weather Satellite

    You read my blog. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you probably see my Facebook updates, and photos. But I’m at the South Pole, at one of the most isolated, desolate, harsh spots on the planet. So how do I get internet with which to upload and post all of this content? The answer: Satellites.…

  • Happy Chanukah From The World’s Southernmost Game of Dreidel

    Happy Chanukah From The World’s Southernmost Game of Dreidel

    Happy holidays! For the first night of Chanukah, 10 of us assembles, and we got out the menorah, dreidel, wine and bread for a great candle lighting and game of dreidel. Of note, Physicist Jon Kaufman made our stainless steel dreidel in the south pole’s machine shop using the same lathe that’s used to create…

  • Going Out in South Pole Style

    Going Out in South Pole Style

    Yes, on weekends here at the south pole, we like to relax a bit, hang out with friends, and party. Often times party spots are at field camps, and to get there, we usually walk. Sparing most of the details, here’s a quick stop at the pole on my way out to the SuperDARN experiment…

  • Abandoning Summercamp

    Abandoning Summercamp

    Summercamp – at one time, it served as an extension refuge for the aging dome, and when the new station was built, it expanded the housing and service capacity for everyone. Today, Summercamp is still in use, but it’s age is showing. Half of the Korean War-era Jamesways and newer Hypertats that make up most…

  • Wintershop

    Wintershop

    Winter at the south pole is brutal. 24/7 darkness, -100F temperatures, and a skeleton crew. Luckily, I’m here at the south pole for summer season, but there are a few people who choose to winter over. During the winter months, despite the oppressive cold and dark, work must still get done. And this is the…