Up until almost the last minute, the summer activities at the Pole kept the IceCube crew busy. This summer, a dozen IceCube researchers and staff, from eight institutions and six countries, spent some time at the Admundsen-Scott South Pole Station to perform maintenance and operations for IceCube and help prepare for a future deployment of the Askaryan Radio Array (ARA) detector. A PolarTREC teacher, Kate Miller, also traveled to the Pole to join the team, contributing to an extensive educational and outreach program that is still in progress.
It was rather overcast last week. In fact, in this photo of the IceCube Lab (ICL), it’s almost hard to tell where the snowy landscape ends and the cloudy sky begins. This view of the ICL is from the vantage point of the geographic South Pole.
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.