Amundsen-Scott Station, South Pole, Antarctica

It's late summer here. The weather has been pretty consistent for the past couple of days: -20°F (-29°C), winds at 8 knots, barometric pressure at 695 mb (20.5") for an equivalent altitude of 2950m (9710 ft). I'm working under the dome, which isn't heated, it just keeps the wind out; all the buildings underneath are well insulated and individually warmed. Since there's no wind, most people don't bother to get bundled up if they're only going from place to place under the dome. After a year at McMurdo, I haven't found it to be too cold, but it is summertime.

"Hero Shots" are de rigeur at Pole (some people even bring banners just for the occasion). It was overcast this afternoon, so this one didn't turn out as well as I'd have liked. I'll probably try again when the sun is out. On the bright side, an hour before things clouded over, we were treated to the best sundogs people had ever seen, complete with a 360° halo parallel to the horizon that sported two false suns. Somehow, in spite of Apple's drool-proof approach to photography, I caught one of the sundogs with the QuickTake 150. Actually, I cheated and used part of the terrain to block the direct sunlight and aimed at the rainbow.

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Last modified: 27 February 1996
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