Now you see it …
… now you don’t. These two photos show the spot of the geographical South Pole, just before and after the old marker was removed—as we mentioned last week, at the beginning of each year a new marker is situated at the current location, which shifts constantly due to the movement of the ice sheet. This year’s marker, which can be seen below, is about 10 meters away from the old spot (here’s a close-up view).
Inside, they were busy last week packing data disks for shipment north—a lot of disks, in a lot of boxes. IceCube’s winterovers are standing next to their completed tower of boxes, which altogether contains every bit of data collected by IceCube for 2015. Off it goes.
Outside, there was some interesting work in the area of ice studies. Two deep holes were dug, separated by about half a meter (bottom images). One hole is open and receives full sunlight, the other has a plywood cover. The last image shows the view of the backlit wall of the open hole from inside the closed hole, with visible lines delineating snow and ice accumulation over time. The bright lines indicate summer seasons, when the new snow is compacted from the heat of the Sun.