Week 52—the last of 2022—was a busy week at the South Pole. Some of IceCube’s summer staff were leaving by the end of the week, so there were some minor items to finish up before then. Also, the second South Pole overland traverse (SPoT2) arrived, with more fuel for the station and some IceCube Upgrade drilling equipment. As the week overlapped into 2023, there were celebrations for the New Year, including a party held outside with an outdoor grill and a snow carving competition. Check out IceCube winterover Marc’s Pac-Man handiwork in the bottom image.
The new year always brings with it the changing of the pole marker at the geographical South Pole. Since the ice sheet is continuously shifting, moving about 10 meters per year, the pole marker for the geographic South Pole must be moved accordingly. This is done at the beginning of each new year, where the old marker is removed and replaced by a new marker that was designed and fabricated by previous Pole staff. This year’s marker can rotate to display two sides. The day side (above) has a sundial with the outline of Antarctica, while the night side (below) displays the constellations and planets visible from the South Pole during the winter solstice.