Week 13 at the Pole

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 4:15pm

Darkened sky, a bit of light from behind South Pole station
Kathrin Mallot, IceCube/NSF

Last week it was time to board up all the windows of the South Pole station.  This is done every year to prevent interior light from interfering with light-sensitive experiments that run in the darkness of winter.  Outdoors, lighting is kept to a minimum and to a red spectrum to reduce the interference.  There’s still just a bit of sunlight lingering, as seen in the image at top—what’s not so easily discernible in the image are the stars, but the winterovers report having seen them for the first time in months.  Station personnel were kept busy with emergency response practice and recreational activities, including continued efforts at mastering the unicycle.

Person in red parka, with red headlamp, outside station with red lights on
Benjamin Eberhardt, IceCube/NSF

Group huddled around person on stretcher outside under red light
Josh Neff, NSF

Person on unicycle, leaning back against padded wall and holding long balancing poles
Kathrin Mallot, IceCube/NSF