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.
There’s still just a bit of sunlight lingering, as seen in the image at top—what’s not so easily discernible in the image are the stars, but the winterovers report having seen them for the first time in months.
Although the sun has set and winter has begun, it takes a while before it actually gets dark at the South Pole. Twilight is a prolonged process there, lasting weeks. Here there’s still plenty of daylight to see the station as it starts to look nice and frosty without direct sunlight.
The sun is getting lower and lower, and the folks at the South Pole station continue to get everything ready for winter. The winds were strong last week, on some days making it hard to distinguish ground from sky.
The sun is still out at the South Pole, but it’s getting low in the sky (they have one loooong sunset down there). And it’s cold as usual—a quick run around the block leaves one looking a little frosty.
Last week, with the IceCube detector behaving well, winterovers Benjamin and Kathrin had a bit more time for extracurriculars. They enjoyed a live webcast with a classroom in Italy and tried their hand at mastering the unicycle.
Tradition is strong at the South Pole, and last week was validation of that. After the final plane departed with the remaining summer personnel, the winterovering station crew all gathered in the gym for the traditional screening of all three versions of “The Thing.” They engage in this marathon viewing each year.