Midwinter in Antarctica

K2 Mountain Poles

June 21, Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, makes for Midwinter celebrations on Antarctica. Robert Schwarz shares some unique Aurora photos from the South Pole. Plus Midwinter swim at Davis Station.

At the Geographic South Pole (90ºS), the Winter Solstice marks the peak of the 24-hour darkness. It is now three months before the sun peeps out above the horizon for the start of the Polar Day, after setting three months ago.

Midwinter, June 21, is celebrated at Science Stations across Antarctica. See Midwinter swim at Davis Station. It marks the day where the sun slowly makes it way back to the white continent.

At the opposite Pole, the North Pole, it is of cause 24 hours daylight at the moment, Midsummer.

Auroras

With the dark skies on Antarctica, the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis, are clearly visible on cloudless nights. These dramatic and colorful lights/clouds are created when electrically charged particles from solar winds enter the Earth’s atmosphere and interact with gases in the atmosphere.

Currently a Winterover at the South Pole, Robert Schwarz shares with us some amazing photos of the night sky at the Pole. He is there for his 13th year, with a Cosmic Microwave Background experiment, called SPUD/KECK.

Watch his videos here. Robert says, when taking videos, he places the camera in an insulated box, heated by 2 water bottles with hot water.

See his modified camera equipment here, to withstand -70ºC.

Links

Robert Schwarz’ website with further links

Weather at the South Pole currently in the minus 40’s (they operate on New Zealand time)

Previous on Explorersweb/Pythom

Medical Evacuation: Kenn Borek Twin Otter left South Pole (midwinter 2016)

Midwinter living on the edge: ExWeb interview with Sven Lidstrom at the South Pole (2012) midwinter

#polar #southpole #antarctica #midwinter #winterover #robertschwarz

Most recent image from the live camera at the South Pole. Time in UTC. In order to preserve the life of the camera it is tilted down toward the snow when the sun is in the field of view which occurs for several weeks around sunset (March) and sunrise (September) when the sun marches in a circle above the horizon. From mid-April until mid-August the moon and the aurora australis provide the only natural lighting. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:NOAA Research

April 20 2017 Robert Schwarz: They are back - Aurora season 2017 started moon is still up but these auroras this afternoon were quite bright the first pictures is only exposed for 0.6s (f 2.8 iso 6400) [scroll top image for larger view] Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

April 23 2017 Robert: Corona below the Southern Cross. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

May 11 2017: Ceremonial South Pole at night a very rare sight said Robert normally the flags are taken down around sunset and put up again 6 months later at sunrise. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

May 27 2017: 2 thumbs up - hard to see with big mittens. The Ceremonial SP flags with the US Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in the background. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

June 2 2017 Robert Schwarz: Auroras over DSL (Dark Sector Lab with Bicep3) and SPT (South Pole Telescope) Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

June 14 2017 Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

June 18 2017 Robert Schwarz: as you can see the environment doesn't really help taking pictures down here. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

May 29 2017: some faint red-purple auroras. Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

June 2 2017 Robert Schwarz: Auroras over SPT (South Pole Telescope) and DSL (Dark Sector Lab with Bicep3) Location:Geographic South Pole Antarctica Source:(c) Robert Schwarz 2017

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