University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 43 at the Pole

NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong

Life’s a tradeoff. At the South Pole, when winter comes to a close, you trade “cold, dark, and isolated” for “(still) cold, but bright, and less isolated.” With the sun out, you also get sundogs—scientific name, parhelion. The tradeoff there? No more auroras for a while. Oh well, now it’s easier to take snow accumulation measurements. There are poles located on top of every IceTop Tank over each IceCube string that are used for measuring how much snow has accumulated above the detector each season. These measurements are performed twice a year, at the station opening and closing, and even with the sun’s help take a full day to complete.

NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong
NSF/B. Kuo Tiong