University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 23 at the Pole

NSF/R. Schwarz
NSF/R. Schwarz

Life at the Pole may be different than life elsewhere, but some things are the same just about everywhere. One of those things is celebrating holidays. Who knows? Maybe holidays are even more important when you live in small, isolated communities. Last week, at the South Pole and all over Antarctica, they were celebrating midwinter, a cultural event held in many places around the world in recognition of the winter solstice, an astronomical occurrence. The winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, which occurs in June, marks the summer solstice in the north, both reflecting the point at which the Sun is at its greatest northerly distance from the celestial equator. So there’s no Sun at all right now at the South Pole but it’ll come back eventually. We celebrate holidays to take a break from work, which is another thing that’s the same at the Pole as elsewhere—there’s always work to be done. Last week saw some action at the ICL, with opportunities to make some equipment replacements and repairs.

NSF/D. Larsen
NSF/D. Larsen
NSF/D. Larsen
NSF/D. Larsen