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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chuck's South Pole Adventure: Week 1, Season 2


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So you think that it's getting a little cold do you? Well let me tell you, you don't know nothing about cold until you've gotten a look at Chuck's South Pole Adventure.

Chuck is working for his second season at Amundsen-Scott Base otherwise known as the South Pole Station in Antartica. That's right, Antartica, that continent at the bottom of the world that is covered with ice.

Chuck is there for a few weeks for the Antartic Summer as part of the Ice Cube Project which you can read about more in detail in Season One of his adventures.

You may wish to start with Season One to get the whole feel for Chuck's adventures.

Season Two is going on right now however, with daily updates, and Chuck has added photos this season which really help to bring home the nature of his adventure.

Did I say cold? On Tuesday, November 22, 2003 the station recorded a balmy -33.7 degrees Farenheight with a wind chill factor of -62.2!


With no trees or buildings to stop the winds moving across the surface of Antartica, wind chill is a major factor, and the wind was moving at a brisk 12.7 knots, hence the large wind chill factor impact.

Ironically, Tuesday's entry was titled, "Overheating". I leave it to you to discover the meaning of that.

This is not one of those overstated blogs seeking mass attention. But if you are looking for an interesting and thought provoking diary about life working on a research project at the South Pole this one's for you.

Chuck is in Antartica working on the Ice Cube Neutrino Detector Telescope Project, funded by the NSF, which it is hoped will tell us about interactions of particles at the highest level of energy found in nature.

Buried deep below the Antartic Ice, detectors from the Ice Cube array should be able to see and trace collisions of neutrinos impossible to "see" any other way.

This is pure science at its best, the truth is at this stage the physicists and programmers working on the project do not know the full extent of what they will discover or learn from this project, but it is likely to lead to unexpected discoveries with impacts that will amaze us all, perhaps defining research agendas well into the 22nd century.

Chuck's diary is interesting with a lot of detail about day to day life at Admundsen-Scott Summer camp where every three days you are allowed a two minute shower to conserve water. Residents live in Janeways and those who want to visit the original base headquarters must descend through a long tunnel of ice because the annual ice and snow accumulation. All modern buildings of importance are designed to be jacked up each year to avoid sinking below the ice in the same fashion.

Incoming planes land on skis rather than wheels and every piece of garbage, crate, packing material or nicknack that comes in, must eventually be shipped out.

The South Pole marker is, well, I think I should let Chuck tell his own story. I have also listed some other sites that provide information about the project.

Information about Chuck's Project - The Ice Cube Neutrino Detector Antartic Telescope

Popular Science Description of Ice Cube Project

Berkeley Lab - Research News

Ice Cube Site at University of Wisconsin, Madison

Other South Pole Links:

Virtual Tour - South Pole

Aerial view of South Pole Station - 1983 (758K)

MPEG of Solar Progression During Summer 24 Sunlight Day

CIA Map of Antartica

Time to find some heavy blankets, this whole subject is making me cold.

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Blogger The Peter Files Blog of Comedy said...

For the other end of the world see http://www.the-northpole.com/
Title: The North Pole
Description: A guide about the North Pole. Effect of global warming, Santa's home

3/15/2008 11:31 AM  

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