Week 10 at the Pole
Last week the IceCube winterovers performed the annual task of calibrating each and every DOM of the detector. Do you know how many DOMs that is? (Or even what a DOM is?) Well, there are quite a few DOMs in all, and apparently it went relatively well. They also had a few alarms go off in the cryo building. The first one interrupted an outreach webcast, and then there was another one later the same day. The photo above shows the emergency response team on their return from one of those calls. You can see that the sun is still out, just a few degrees above the horizon.
Recently (but not last week), the winterovers toured the maze of ice tunnels that lie below the station to guide water and waste pipes. They are long tunnels whose walls and ceilings have varying textures depending on the tools that were used to carve them. Shrines of all sorts have been left behind over the years. The temperature in the tunnels, regardless of the changing weather outside, is always brutally cold, around -50 degrees C. Escape ladders were set up in select places for emergency evacuation. Christian used one of the escape ladders to make his way out at the end of the tour. Looks like he enjoyed his tunnel experience.