Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pictures!!! McMurdo to the South Pole

Here are some more pictures from my flight from McMurdo to pole. I havent gotten out of the base quite yet cause I havent been feeling 100%, but I should be heading out pretty soon to go check out the telescope. If I get a chance, Ill try to take some more pictures down here, but I think the spectacular stuff has come and gone. My posts will probably come less frequently now, or will at least be shorter and less interesting ;) Im gonna start posting more info on the other blog too, since i will have more time to concentrate on it. I hope there are little kiddies out there that will follow it! Ok, without much futher ado, i present the amazing Antarctic continent!

We came back to the runway around 8am, this time i had a bit more opportunity to snap some photos. This one is a great shot of the local active volcano, Mt. Erebus.

We boarded our flight, a LC-130 "Hercules" cargo prop plane.

I spent a little too much time with my camer and was the last to board. It turned out they were a little short on seating so me and a collegue working on a seperate CMB telescope project got bumped up to the flight deck.

From here we had a great view of everything the pilots got to see, including the runway as we took off and landed.

The views from 2000 or more feet above the Ice were nothing short of spectacular, here is a shot of the ice throwing some sun back at me ...

Looking out the side window, you could see the propellers of the plane in action, it was an amazing thing to watch.

This ridge was very interesting for a number of reasons, i believe it might have run along the coast. If you look closely, you can see more "ice waves" as the ice either moved along or into the coast. Also along almost the entire length of the ridge there is a series of clouds, billowous. Lastly, there are a few clouds that cover the higher peaks of the ridge, they seem to be cause by wind blowing over the ridge. These clouds were really cool cause the reflected the sun back in really cool colors, reds blues and greens although this is hard to capture.

Another view out the side catching the propeller in the forground. The propeller fins are actually not visible during the flight, but the camera can capture them in a particular instant during their revolution.

If you look carfully between the two mountains in the forground, you should be able to see what looks like the mouth of an ice river flowing out between them. This was the first major glacier I caught a shot of.

Here is a beautiful shot of mountain peaks and the gigantic snow drifts which form along them. you really get a sense for the scale of the ice and snow cover here.

In the next picture you can very clearly see two glaciers moving around a series of mountains. There is a lot of evidence for ice flow here, and you can see where the two glaciers meet and continue together.

A close up shot of the glacier. It makes me really widh I could see what lied underneath if everything melted, something that would be catastrophic for life around the whole planet as sea levels would rise many feet. Unfortunatly, this day may in fact come.

So, I finally got to the Pole in one shape, here is my bedroom!

And here are the views out of my window and a window down the hall.

Like I said, I've been holed up in my room for the last 24 hours, but Ill try to get out and get more pics for you guys. Keep checkin back for more info on life down here. You may also want to check www.spadventure.blogspot.com


Anonymous Emily Alicea said...

damn rob... that's so much snow! i know, i know, it's antarctica, but damn... i dont even want to think about what the temperatures there are like...

and i've also realized that i have lost any privilege i may have had to complain about PA being cold whenever i talk to you from now on :-P

7:46 PM CST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear professor !
This is so exciting.
Snow, planes, Ivans, glasciers ...
But I still have 2 questions:
1) Were are the damn pinguins ?!
2) do you what time is it ?
Oh and one more - are you allowed to ski there ?
Trully yours "Starshen'kii".

10:19 PM CST  
Blogger Robert B. Friedman said...

privet brat,
1) i should probably do a whole post on this alone. there are no penguins on the south pole. penguins live on the coaast of antarctica. they do travel quite a bit inland, but its only something like 70 miles. the average distance from the coast to the pole is about 1000 miles. its like NY to Kansas.
2) I posted a whole explanation of time on my other blog, spadventure.blogspot.com. The time is the same as New Zealand time, that NY time +20 hours. Now, there is no traditional day here, but you can tell the time by watching the position of the sun anyway. As the earth rotates, instead of rising and setting, the sun just makes circles around the zenith. so the direction the sun is in tells you the time of day!
3) there is cross country skiing, but not here. its too dangerous to stray far from station. there are also sensitive geological measurments that would be disturbed by motion. the skiing is on the coast, at McMurdo.

1:20 PM CST  

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