Week 39 at the Pole

Monday, October 12, 2020 - 11:30am

Sun huge on horizon
Yuya Makino, IceCube/NSF

Now that the sun is up 24/7 at the South Pole, it’s hard for the winterovers to even imagine the auroras they were enjoying in the dark sky just a month or so ago. Everything is now visible.  In the image above, where a winterover is standing at IceCube’s string 44, the sun appears huge on the horizon.  Even so, it’s still very cold outside.  As large as the sun may appear, it unfortunately is not melting any of the snow that has accumulated and built up around structures over the winter.  Two weeks ago, while they were replacing flags at the ceremonial pole, we saw that the pole marker there was sort of buried out there.  So last week they set to digging it out, finding it a bit deeper than expected but eventually getting it out and resituating things.  It was overcast then, but the final image shows clear skies over the South Pole station, as viewed from the snow ramp at the IceCube Lab, roughly a mile away.

Digging out pole marker from accumulated snow.
Yuya Makino, IceCube/NSF

Pole marker revealed
Geoffrey Chen, SPT/NSF

Station in distance, seen over edge of snow ramp
Yuya Makino, IceCube/NSF