16 December 2018 TIME TRAVELING at the Geographic South Pole!!

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Jo Ann Walsh
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Is there “day” and “night” at the south pole?


Jo Ann! There is one "Day" and one "Night" here at the South Pole. The "Day" lasts six months and the night lasts six months. The sunset is March 23, 2019 at 1:33 PM ! There will be a few weeks of twilight and then months of complete darkness. Thanks for reading my Journals and taking the time to ask a question!

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south pole

Did someone put a "pole" on the south pole or not?

South Pole

Ella, Yep, there actually is a pole stuck in the ground at the Geographic South Pole! It is repositioned every year based on how far the ice sheet has drifted that year. It has drifted a little more than 100 yards in the past 10 years, so it moves at roughly 30 feet per year. I think there is a picture of the pole (with the fancy cap) in the journal about the Geographic South Pole.

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were all those small flags for crevasses


Cole, If you are asking about the flags of countries that are over my shoulder in the picture in this Journal, no. Those flags are to represent the countries that originally signed the Antarctic Treaty back in 1959.

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South Pole

Did the pole in the first picture move at all over all the years it has been there?

South Pole

Elizabeth, Yes, it has moved about 100 yards over the past 10 years. So, it (the ice sheet it is on) moves about 30 feet per year. Thanks for reading my journals and taking the time to ask a question!

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Time zones

Does it feel weird when you walk into a different time zone? Can you tell that you are in "tomorrow"?

Time Zones

Alaina, Nope, you can't feel it at all! Other than the calendar/clock showing that it is 8:00 AM, Tuesday, the 18th of December here, there is no difference. I do have to keep doing the math in my head to figure out what time it is for you back in the United States. We are 18 hours ahead of you...so it is yesterday Monday, December 17th and it is 2:00 PM for you...18 hours behind me here at the South Pole! Confusing...right?

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Does it rain or precipitate there besides snow and do you get thunder storms?


Mariah, It hasn't "Rained" here in millions of years. ALL of the precipitation is in a frozen form...and there is very very little of that. The South Pole gets less than two inches of (liquid equivalent) precipitation. As a comparison, Pittsburgh averages about 42 inches per year! I'll have to ask about the thunderstorm (or Thunder Snow) but I doubt it. The weather here doesn't work as it does in more temperate climates. The warm fronts (high pressure) and cold fronts (Low pressure) aren't as drastically different here.

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Hello im a students from dansville middle school, How do they calculate where the pole is?


Alex, That is a great question that requires a little math. I'll simplify it so that I don't have to write pages explaining all of the calculations. We are lucky since we are very close to the Winter Solstice and on that day (12/22) the angle of the sun will match the tilt of the earth (23.5˚) . SO all we have to do is confirm that with some geometry (for our purposes). Imagine that the sun is shining on the pole stuck on the ground at the geographic south pole. It would cast a shadow. If we measure the height of the pole and the length of the shadow we would have two sides of a triangle. The missing side is the distance from the end of the shadow to the top of the pole. We know from the Pythagorean theorem that A^2 +B^2 = C^2 ( if we make the two known sides A and B) and that should give us the length of the missing side. Here is where it gets a little more tricky. If the pole is perpendicular to the ground that would be a 90˚ angle. If the earth is tilted at 23.5˚ degrees to the sun (it is!) then if all triangles have 180˚ of angles, 90+23.5= 66.6˚ so if all of that agrees, we know that we are at the exact Geographic South Pole. Get it? I'll try to do the actual Trigonometry calculations and get post it as a part of a journal in a day or two. Fun stuff!

Christopher O'Dell
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how far does the station move every year?


Christopher, That is a great question! It moves about 33 feet per year to the Grid East.

Aubrielle Costic
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Seals :)

Did you see any Weddell seal pups here or at Mc. murdo station?


Aubrielle, We DID see some pups, but they were born several months ago and they were nearly as big as the adults. I couldn't really tell them apart but other people who had been to the Antarctic before said that they could tell the difference. They were old enough that they weren't nursing from their mothers any more.

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Journal Details

Location: Geographic South Pole
Latitude: 90° 0' 0" S
Longitude: 0° 0' 0" E
Weather Summary: Cold and breezy
Temperature: -9˚ F
Wind Chill: -27˚ F
Wind Speed: 12 mph

Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations 2018 Journals

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