A clear sky last week showed off some faint sun dogs around a bright sun. Clear skies also made for fine flying conditions—the last flights to leave the Pole took off last week. The station is officially closed for the season.
Winter is just around the corner, but the South Pole greenhouse doesn’t know about it. Fresh vegetables are growing in there. IceCube winterover Martin had some greenhouse training last week, and harvested a striking (but not very ripe looking) tomato.
Doesn’t it sometimes seem that folks at the South Pole are always smiling? Well, for many, getting to spend time at the Pole—extremely cold temperatures notwithstanding—is the dream of a lifetime. Still, this group shot shows summer crew about to leave for warmer climes. Maybe that’s why they’re smiling.
Wait a minute—seals? penguins? at the South Pole? Well, you’re right to wonder, because the climate at the South Pole, in central Antarctica, is too harsh for survival even for animals adapted to lower temperatures. But winterovers deserve a break from Pole life when possible, and IceCube winterover Martin made it to McMurdo station last week for a few days of R&R, where he was able to capture penguins, seals, and a skua—all in the same shot.
A relatively quiet week at the Pole … but sunny! IceCube winterover Martin captured a bright, radiating sun as it appeared to rest on the roof of the IceCube Lab (ICL). Sunny or not, no flights made it in or out last week, postponing Martin’s week of R&R that had been scheduled.
The year’s end doesn’t mean an end to the work going on at the Pole. Last week, continued detector upgrades and some inventory tasks were on the work roster. There was also considerable progress made on a new IceTop snow-depth sensor project, documented in this image.