Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Winter Excursion Video

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

With very pleasant weather yesterday, Santjie and I decided to get some exercise again, and instead of our usual route to the airstrip or depot we skied over to Kleinkoppie, a small peak adjacent to Vesleskarvet. Despite the ambient temperature of -28°C, it was quite comfortable to be our and about as there was very little wind. I’ve put together a short video to give an idea of what it was like.


Photo-of-the-Day… uh… Night – 15 June 2008

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

We had our most intense, active and spectacular aurora thus far – a whopping 400 nanotesla flux in the magnetic field (compared to the 40-80 nT that caused most of the other auroras you’ve seen on this site) briefly lit the sky with sweeping green, pink, yellow, red and blue. Unfortunately, invading cloud cover prevented us from seeing the best of the show, and made photography difficult. Another beautiful atmospheric feature also chased us from the roof before too long: ‘diamond dust’. Like a mist of ice, diamond dust is iridescent when lit; the air itself glitters; but the price of its beauty is the biting cold. On the base’s roof, exposed to the sparkling wind at minus-twenty-something-nasty, I was content to lie a while and watch nature’s artwork without fussing over too many photos: Ice crystals shimmered past silver moonlit gossamer clouds, and above it all the aurora morphed and flowed; the ball-gown of Mother Earth trailing into space as she danced her pas de deux with the distant Sun.

Photo-of-the-Day – 21 May 2008

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

The snow melter is invisible, buried by years of accumulated snow, but we throw fresh snow and ice down the hatch daily to make water.  This picture is taken at midday in May, with the winter sun just below the horizon.

Twelve o’clock midday in May – with the sun just below the horizon, the landscape is bathed in beautiful purple and blue light.  A full moon watches as we throw fresh snow down the hatch of the snow-smelter, to make water for the base.

Second photo – just for fun – is me out getting some exercise, skiing across to the winter container depot and back.  With low ambient temperature and a frigid wind from the southern polar plateau, my eyelashes froze within seconds of removing my goggles.  Over my left shoulder, snow-snakes consisting of fine ice and snow particles blown by the wind streak northwards towards the horizon, where sunlight reflects off small wisps of cloud.  Wind-chill tables vary significantly, but the official Canadian tables put the perceived temperature today at -55°C.  Brrr!  Those lovely long lashes make me look like a chilly camel.