What a busy week at the Pole. It was Midwinter there, marking the halfway point of the long, dark winter. They held their traditional viewing of “The Shining” and celebratory dinner, including salads, menus, and fancy décor. Also last week was the culmination of a station-wide facial hair contest.
The moon was up last week, making it quite bright outside—it almost looks like sunshine. But it’s winter at the Pole, and IceCube’s winterovers have been busy. They had to trek out to the ICL for one thing or another, and they also performed some regular maintenance procedures on DOMs, both in the ice and in IceTop.
Another busy week for IceCube’s winterovers—they were paged several times to deal with crashes and other irregularities. Despite the activity, the detector was quite stable with minimal down time. The station had a special Memorial Day lunch last week, complete with hamburgers and hotdogs. And auroras!
Last week, IceCube’s winterovers were quite busy. There were a few battery and other power supply failures to troubleshoot and reckon with, and a couple of other minor detector issues—all resolved smoothly though. In station life, they celebrated The Big Lebowski Night and international Towel Day.
Last week at the Pole saw the start of a new physics run and some other detector maintenance tasks. Meanwhile, the bright moon had set, allowing auroras to take over the skies once again. And take over they did.
There are privileges that come with winterovering at the South Pole. Being able to step outside and gaze up at spectacular aurora displays is one of them. Working in the dish pit? Well, maybe that’s on the other side of that coin.
If you find yourself at the South Pole, and the sky above you is sparkling with stars and shimmering with auroras, you might just want to lie down and stare straight up for best effect. That’s what winterover Martin did recently, seen here in front of the flags at the ceremonial South Pole.
It surely is a staircase to the stars. That’s the ICL’s staircase, set against a backdrop of bright auroras low in the sky with a wide swath of the Milky Way above. Last week at the Pole was very much like the previous one—a well-behaved, quiet detector and an active night sky.
Last week’s photos from the Pole were full of blue and green. The first visible auroras were out, and they appeared as bright green swaths and swirls against a blue sky. A bright full moon and Jupiter as a tiny speck also made appearances.