A quiet week at the Pole—but that doesn’t mean that nothing happened. First of all, look at that sky! Lots of stars and swirling auroras, but also a bright rising moon make for a very picturesque setting.
Since the moon was down last week, many winterovers—including IceCube’s—were outside braving the (extreme) cold, looking to catch some good shots of the Milky Way or the aurora australis, also known as the southern lights.
A bright swath of auroras extending low across the sky with a clear view of the Milky Way above—what more could one want (except perhaps to see it in person)? Well, those who winterover at the South Pole station count themselves among the lucky ones.
How does slow equal fast? Well, apparently for fire rescue teams, slow mean smooth, and smooth means fast. Last week, the teams competed for time in donning their gear and saving colleagues from across the gym.
IceCube’s winterovers just sat down to take in the view after finishing up some outdoor IceAct snow accumulation measurements. It was a view worth sitting down for. But for a relatively quiet week at the Pole, they still found themselves with plenty to do.
The extreme environment of the South Pole poses numerous challenges for those who work there, especially during the winter. One difficulty is simply dealing with things that break. You can’t just order a replacement online.
It’s not the first aurora of the season, but it is the first one to be captured on camera by IceCube winterover Kathrin—a pretty, swirling aurora along the horizon, with a bright moon illuminating the icy surface from above.
The sky was still bright enough last week to take a photo of an ozone balloon launch, the first one to send up a special plastic balloon in the hopes of a better survival as it ascends in the cold atmosphere.