Hi Lesley, I would love to be a member of the traverse team. what an amazing experience that would be. Hope your altitude sickness goes away quickly. i realize things can be up in the air and change from moment to moment, but if there is any chance you could Skype with any of my 8th grade classes here in Tennessee (EST), they would love it.
3 December 2017 Neutrino Hunters Photoshoot at the Ceremonial South Pole
Hi Kirk, and students! My body has acclimated very well to the change in altitude and I'm already outside doing work with our drill team (photos to come!) We had a live web cast this morning that didn't go as smoothly as planned...our satellite didn't connect and we couldn't make a phone call go through until half way through the webcast. However, we are trying to schedule another event before I leave. Please check out the PolarTREC home page or the Polar Educators list serve (education [at] arcus.org) to sign up for our next live webcast!
We have a group of kids who will be logged into your webinar for a 'working lunch". Thank you so much for being available to do this.
My class has a few questions:
1. How far did the pole marker have to be moved this year? 2. What direction did it move? (See question #3)
3. How do you tell direction at the South Pole - since every direction is essentially North. (My classes thought that this was the most interesting idea - that on the south pole...no matter what direction you go - you are going north!
4. Did your camera freeze? Will it thaw out and still work? Is it a special camera?
Thanks! We look forward to hearing your webinar in a few minutes!
1-3. The geographic South Pole actually does not move, but the marker and the station move about 10 feet each year. Every year the winterover machinist designs a new South Pole marker that gets moved into place on January 1st. The continent of Antarctica has arbitrarily been divided by explorers into two halves. If you look at a map of Antarctica, the trans-Antarctic mountain range divides the continent into "West Antarctica" (the land containing the Antarctic peninsula) and "East Antarctica" (everything on the other side of that mountain range). This is how most people navigate the continent. The ice sheet is moving toward "West Antarctica" and it is predicted that if the flow rate remained consistent, the Amundsen-Scott station would reach the Ronne Ice Shelf in about 10,000-30,000 years. 4. I took my iPhone 8 Plus with me for the photoshoot. I try to keep it warm in an inside pocket when I'm walking around, but the cold temperature drains the battery rapidly outside and after about 45 minutes of pictures my phone shut off. After coming back into the station my phone turned back on in about 15 minutes. This poses many challenges for scientists who need to work with batteries or other pieces of technological equipment in the field. There is a lot of engineering work put into designing equipment that won't freeze and damage the technology.
Thanks for tuning in today, sorry about the connection! We are aiming to do another webcast soon, hope to see you then!
Hello! We are so happy to see the flag we signed! These pictures look really cool. Here are the questions:
1. Are the flags there permanently?
2. How far do they move the marker and the sign every year?
3. Do you have hand warmers?
We look forward to seeing your next posts! - Morning Pod
- The flags at the South Pole marker are always there and the ceremonial South Pole does not move.
- The geographic South Pole is the point at which the earth circles around. This is moved every year on the first of January about 10 meters.
- Yes, we have hand warmers for those people working outside (mechanics, fuelies, equipment drivers, etc.) I have used them since I spend most of my afternoons with the drill team outside working in the snow. On the label it says they should work 10 hours, but in reality at this temperature and with the lack of humidity they last about half the time.
Hey Ms. Lesley!
We have some special comments before we ask questions:
- You looked so good in the relfection of the globe!
- We loved to see the flag we signed at the South Pole!
Here are our questions for today:
1. Are there any other New Years traditions?
2. Will you be there on New Years?
3. Does the extreme cold act as a natural EMP?
4. (A little bit of a more personal question) How do women take care of menstruation in the South Pole with the extreme cold?
5. Could you get frostbite by exposing your skin?
Hope to hear from you soon!
Thanks you guys! It was a bit windy so the flag isn't exactly straight. I'll try to take another before I leave!
- Moving the South Pole marker is the main New Years tradition. On Christmas day there is a race around the world where competitors take a lap around the station and both poles.
- I am hoping to be home by New Years, but weather can cancel flights so I may be stuck longer than expected. Hope to see you all at school January 3rd!
- I'm not sure what you mean by natural EMP, but the extreme cold does not act as a natural electromagnetic pulse.
- Just the same as at home! Inside the station is warm, the only difference is making sure that products are disposed of properly since our "sewage" system is very different in an isolated environment than it is back home.
- Definitely, yes. And it hurts. It happens very quickly due to the high winds. It's important to stay as bundled up as possible.
Hi Ms. Lesley it looks like you have the flag we signed in did you read mines it well remind you of me. Warm Hugs from me and Olaf.