University of Wisconsin-Madison

Week 7 at the Pole

Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF
Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF

That’s it—the South Pole station is officially closed for the season. The few remaining summer people have departed on the last plane out, which brought to the Pole a nice supply of “freshies,” as they like to refer to their perishable produce. Once this batch has been eaten and enjoyed, it will be a while before their provisions are replenished. That’s what closing the station entails: no more flights—in or out. So begins the winterover adventure for the 40 people now left on station, including IceCube’s Raffaela and Johannes. As tradition holds, they get “things” rolling with a viewing of all three versions of The Thing in the gymnasium. The sun is still out, however, so it might not quite look like winter at the Pole yet, but the temperatures were dropping (down to –46.1 ˚C/–51.0 ˚F), so it did feel like it.

Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF
Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF
Lee Shue/NSF
Lee Shue/NSF
Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF
Raffaela Busse, IceCube/NSF