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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Ella Derbyshire
- Explore score
- 0.09 Gigapixels
- Date added
- Jan 02, 2009
- Date taken
- Dec 31, 2008
GigapanMagazine.org vol 1 issue 2
Here is a panorama of the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station on the evening of December 31, 2008. The snowy landscape around the Pole is fairly quiet, as almost everyone is getting ready for the New Year’s Eve party in the gymnasium of the elevated station. We have not yet taken apart our Christmas tree, and the 2008 Pole marker remains in the snow where it was placed on January 1 of last year.
Tomorrow during a 1pm ceremony, the Geographic Pole marker will change to its 2009 version, which was designed and made by the 2008 overwinter crew. The new marker will be set onto a post in a new hole in the ice that is located about 30 feet closer to the Dome. The American Flag and the sign with its brief written accounts of Amundsen's and Scott's arrival at the Pole will move along with it.
The South Pole Station is situated on top of the largest sheet of ice on Planet Earth. The elevated station, the Dome, and everything else that you see here drift a little bit toward grid northwest each day. Once each year the location of the Geographic Pole is officially corrected to place it once again over the axis of rotation of the planet. In 2008, we use GPS to confirm the location of the Pole. All of this constant, predictable glacial motion and the annual marker movement create an interesting pastime for the crew and visitors to the station, especially for the folks who brought their own GPS’s to the Pole. In the summer of 1911-12, Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott had a much more difficult time confirming that they and their parties had in fact arrived at 90 degrees south latitude.
On the left of the image you see the ice-carving efforts of some of the station crew. They have been working on these giant blocks for several weeks, and their art will be judged on January 4. The ambient temperature, which has now risen to approach 0 degrees Fahrenheit, makes ice carving a comfortable exercise, as long as the wind is fairly calm. It looks like they had some great ideas and that they have been busy at their task. Which carving would earn your vote?
The 30 images of this panorama were photographed with a Nikon D 80 and stitched with Autopano Pro. Please enjoy The South Pole on New Year's Eve 2008.