Week 13 at the Pole

Friday, April 16, 2021 - 9:15am

Twilight at the South Pole, with crescent moon high in sky and orange hues along horizon.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF

Let the twilight begin!  Even though twilight occurs only twice a year at the South Pole, it is a drawn out process that lasts weeks instead of hours.  At sunset, the light outside slowly dwindles before leaving the Pole in complete darkness.  Even then, it’s not always fully dark since, while the sun may be gone, the moon still gets to make appearances—and it can be quite bright, too, especially when it’s full. 

Last week, there was plenty of light outside to capture a photo, below, of IceCube winterover Martin as he cleared snow away from emergency exits—an important but not necessarily fun chore.  And it was extra cold outside then, as temperatures had been dropping all week.  Inside, on the other hand, vegetables were proliferating in the greenhouse, where they’ve got ripening tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers, zucchini, and more. Life at the Pole (with salad) is good.

Blurry images of shadowed behinds of two hooded individuals facing a full moon, shown between them.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF

Person shoveling snow away from emergency exits outside the South Pole station.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF

Rows of leafy greens and ripening vegetables in the greenhouse.
Josh Veitch-Michaelis, IceCube/NSF