It was a pretty busy time last week at the Pole. IceCube’s winterovers had some unrelated hardware incidents that required troubleshooting and fixing, and a trip out to the IceCube Lab. And look what a great photo winterover Raffaela captured on that trip, with the ICL backlit by a full moon.
So much ice, yet it’s no mean feat to keep a stable water supply for the folks at the South Pole. Housed in the shack shown in this image is a rodwell, which is how they get their water. Hot water is sent down a hole to a cavity deep in the ice, and a continuous flow of water is maintained to prevent the rodwell from freezing.
There were two bingos last week at the Pole: (1) the game, where some improvising was required for the tiles, and (2) the exclamation, which was well warranted for IceCube’s recent multimessenger results.
The 4th of July is now behind us, but this view of the South Pole station continues with the red, white, and blue theme, while the other side of the station just shows the blue sky and the white snow. These image were only possible due to a bright moon, bright enough to illuminate the tracks in the snow surface.
The recent stretch of bad weather finally broke, showing off some nice auroras. Here, you can make out a bright spot in the sky, which is Mars, soon to reach its closest approach to Earth in many years.
Nice snow drift! Or sastruga, as one might say at the Pole. This enormous snow structure appeared inside the logistics arch, which is a large unheated storage facility, pushed through to the inside through closed doors. That is one strong wind (or one leaky door).
Since it’s nighttime all the time during winter at the South Pole, it can be pretty dark outside, depending on the weather. But with clear conditions, you can get a wondrous night sky. Here we have the IceCube Lab under quite the starry sky, with the Milky Way in clear view and an Iridium flare making a noticeable mark.