Midwinter in Antarctica

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.


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.


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