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Antarctica news bits

Posted: Oct 30, 2014 07:48 pm EDT


(Newsdesk) 100-year-old notebook found. China to build airfield on The Ice. Neutrino detection balloon heads to Antarctica. Rare photos of Antarctica in 1911-1914.


Notebook From Captain Scott’s Last Expedition Found In Ice In Antarctica


A photographer’s notebook left behind a century ago at Captain Scott’s last expedition base at Cape Evans, Antarctica, has been discovered and conserved by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust. The Trust’s conservation specialists found the notebook outside Scott’s 1911 Terra Nova base. Each year the summer snow melt around the building causes variations in run off patterns, exposing the notebook for the first time in more than 100 years.


It belonged to George Murray Levick (1876-1956), surgeon, zoologist and photographer, his name clearly written in the opening pages. Levick was a part of Scott’s 1910-1913 expedition and a member of the Northern Party. The notebook contains his pencil notes detailing the date, subjects and exposure details for the photographs he took during 1911 while at Cape Adare before undergoing a harsh winter in an ice cave on Inexpressible Island. 


China to build airfield on Antarctica


China is to build its own airfield for fixed-wing airplanes in Antarctica to assist its four research stations on the frozen continent, the Beijing Evening News reported.The airport is expected to provide a more reliable means of transport for Chinese scientists and staff working on the continent. At present their only link to the outside world is via ships.


The airstrip will be built near China's Zhongshan Research Station on the Antarctic coast near the Larsemann Hills, south-west of Australia. No details such as the length of the runway or airport capacity are provided.


The work to select the airport's location will start during the country's 31st Antarctic expedition, scheduled to leave today from Shanghai, with help from a new drone developed in China.


China kicked off its first mission to the south-pole in 1984 with the aim of setting up the country's first Antarctic station, named after Changcheng (the Great Wall). The other two Chinese stations in Antarctica are Kunlun and Taishan.


Previous on ExplorersWeb: 

China’s growing presence in Antarctica


Neutrinos on Ice: Detection Balloon Heads to Antarctica


Right now, somewhere in the Milky Way, a proton is traveling though supernova remnant shock waves, bouncing around in extreme magnetic fields and gaining energy and speed. Eventually the proton will gain enough energy to escape the remnant and travel through the galaxy. It might even head to Earth! If we are lucky, it will crash into our atmosphere, creating a shower of millions of particles, just waiting to be detected by a large balloon that will soon be launched over Antarctica.


Read more on the Scientific American blog


Rare photos of Antarctica in 1911-14


In 1911 a group of scientists and adventurers left Hobart, Australia under the leadership of Dr. Douglas Mawson. They were bound for Macquarie Island and the then unknown parts of Antarctica. The scientists of the expedition produced information that later made a major contribution to knowledge of the region. The exploration of new lands established precedence to claims, formalized in 1936 as the Australian Antarctic Territory. Although James Francis (Frank) Hurley was the official photographer to the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, other members of the expedition also took photographs.


Check here to see a collection of 31 photos.








The drone, nicknamed "White Shark", will help China look for a suitable place for the airport on Antarctica.
Photographer on Robert Scott's ill-fated 1911-12 expedition, George Murray Levick's notebook, discovered at Terra Nova hut.
courtesy New Zealands Antarctic Heritage Trust, SOURCE
The ANITA instrument. Those white things are the antennas.
courtesy K. Mulrey, SOURCE