University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 49 at the Pole

NSF/D. Larsen
NSF/D. Larsen

It looks like IceCube winterover Ian Rees is practicing a good luge position, but he’s just taking advantage of his perch to capture photos. He’s lying atop some boxes bearing new equipment as part of an extensive server upgrade. This photo gives the sense of peace and quiet, but they’re moving and the flags are up, so with a little effort you might imagine there to be some wind noise.

But you don’t need much imagination to conjure up sounds for the images below. First up is open mic night, a great performance venue for those so inclined and, for those not so inclined, a nice chance to sit back and listen. Next there’s an explosion—this is a shot from final blasting of the “OId Pole,” the original South Pole station, which was abandoned in 1975 and eventually became completely buried below 30 or more feet of snow. The surface above the old station structures became unstable and posed a safety hazard, which led to plans for demolition.

NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees
NSF/I. Rees