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.
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.
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.