Saturday, December 03, 2005

Long Time No Hear ... From Me.

Hello. I know it’s been a whole week since I last put anything up, but it’s been busy. This week was full of setbacks and hurdles, but it looks like things will be ok in the end. The equipment we were using to measure our mirrors died on us. So we had to open it up and fiddle with the circuitry. In the end, it came back to life and I spent the end of the week re-calibrating it so we could use it. That was mostly it, a lot of tedious and boring work during the day and some movies at night.

Today was a little interesting, the winds picked up and the snow followed in suit. It was quite beautiful really. Passing below you close to the ground was a constant stream of white. The winds blow here ceaselessly, with no respite. It’s like a river of air sweeping past you, constant. The snow follows like smoke trails in wind tunnels; little streams of white sweep past your feet. Looking up sparkles fill the air as bits of snow that have become airborne reflect the sunlight in all directions. The effect is even more astonishing higher in the sky. All the windblown snow reflects the sunlight into a rainbow halo around the sun.

Quite un-poetically, these rainbows are referred to as sun-dogs. I managed to snap a few shots of this effect. The key to catching the sun dogs is to block out the much brighter sunlight. So I walked around finding various objects to do this with.

The new station, my home.

The Anarchist snow dog.

This one is a bit interesting cause if you look close, you can see two halos, one above the red siren and a faint one above and left of the black flag.

I always new I was the chosen one.

Here I used part of the telescope to do the shielding. This picture is particularly good cause you can see some common snow dog features well. Notice that at the top of the halo there is a little upward curving arc. Also at the right and left quadrants, there are bright spots. These all have to do with intersecting lines of sight and different ice crystal sizes and structures. There is a whole science to it I am completely ignorant of.

Today I am doing a teleconference with some of my Space Explorer students back in Chicago. I’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation for them about my experiences getting down here and living here the last 3 weeks or so. You can find the presentation at

or see a website version at

Anyway, I’m feeling a little sad that a whole week has gone before me with little to show for it. Maybe it’s just natural to feel this way after all the adventure and discovery of the previous 2 weeks. I guess life was just a little crazy for a while, and now its getting settled again. I know, you can’t get much crazier than the South Pole, but as hard as it is to believe, the more time that passes here the less shocking it all seems.


Blogger Andrew said...

How have you not gone crazy yet?

8:19 PM CST  

Post a Comment

<< Home