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South Pole 360 degree Pano by Jeremy Johnson

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Jeremy Johnson Jeremy  Johnson
Explore score
0.07 Gigapixels
Date added
Aug 14, 2009
Date taken
Aug 13, 2009

This is a 360 degree Panorama of the Aumndsen-Scott South Pole Station, South Pole Antarctica.

This was taken on 7-28 during the afternoon at a temperature of around -90F with a windchill of -130F. The moon in the shot was only a slight crescent but is incredibly bright. When the moon is not around we are surrounded by total darkness, unless we happen to be graced by a beautiful aurora! I was lucky enough to catch this nice aurora along with the moon. The moon is so bright down here that it mutes out the sky, making shots of stars quite difficult. I have to move very fast while taking photos down here as my batteries freeze quite quickly and even my tripod freezes and no longer will rotate...

Normally I keep a headlamp with me, but this time I had forgotten it while in a rush to capture the dissipating aurora, so had to shoot with whatever I had last set the camera at, and had to hope i didn't bump the rings since i wouldn't be able to see to change anything. Unfortunately while walking out to this point to take the photos I bumped the focal ring on the lens and ever so slightly causing the pictures to bit out of focus, but the pano was so beautiful I couldn't just toss it.

These images were taken with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II at 16mm, f-stop 2.8 for 30 second exposures.

*edit: You can see each of the constellations drawn in over the skyline here:

Gigapan Comments (13)

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  1. Howard Eglowstein

    Howard Eglowstein (December 13, 2012, 08:16AM )

    Quite possibly the most beautiful pano I've seen here. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Jost Jahn

    Jost Jahn (July 30, 2011, 03:23AM )

    Unfortunately the stars are not very sharp, but great work at harsh conditions

  3. Norberto Villarreal

    Norberto Villarreal (August 25, 2010, 12:29PM )

    Fantastic panoramic view! thanks for show!

  4. Pascal Lee

    Pascal Lee (October 23, 2009, 05:36AM )

    Very nice.

  5. Ella Derbyshire

    Ella Derbyshire (August 30, 2009, 07:39PM )

    Each star stays in the own place relative to the other stars. Planets and the moon move through the constellations of the zodiac. This winter we have watched Jupiter slowly moving back and forth among the stars of Capricornus. It was the only planet to stay in our night sky. Every 2 weeks the moon rises, and then lingers, slowly moving eastward for 2 weeks through the stars of Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, and Aquarius. Then it sets and spends 2 weeks among the northern zodiacal constellations. This year the sun is at a solar minimum, and we weren't expecting to see very many auroras. We have had a number of very nice displays, such as this one, but they don't occur daily, and many of 2009's auroras were wispy lights that appeared suddenly and faded quickly.

  6. Ella Derbyshire

    Ella Derbyshire (August 30, 2009, 07:38PM )

    Spinecrawler has captured the lower half of the sky in this full-circle panorama. The photograph includes stars that are located in the sky between 0 and 45 degrees south declination, and those stars are all less than 45 degrees above our horizon. The stars in our sky don't rise or set. They just circle around us once in a 24-hour day. The star field does shift about 4 minutes westward every day. Most of us don't notice much difference over a short time, but it is certainly noticeable over a longer time period. For example, if you were here on January 28 in the afternoon, and you stood in the same spot where spinecrawler stood to shoot this panorama, Scorpius and the other stars that he photographed over the station on July 28 would be behind you, and Orion would be behind the station. Of course, in January you would be looking at blue sky and all of the stars would be lost in sunlight.

  7. Ella Derbyshire

    Ella Derbyshire (August 30, 2009, 07:31PM )

    This panorama of the South Pole at night shows the elevated station and the Dome under an accurate star field which features the rising moon, the Milky Way, Jupiter and a very nice aurora. The only way to see this sight is to spend a winter at the Pole. The last flight leaves here in mid-February and the planes return in mid-October. Only a serious emergency will bring a plane to the Pole between sunset and sunrise. Counting the first winter-over crew who stayed here in 1957 to the present crew of 2009, only 1267 people have spent a winter at the South Pole.

  8. henry reichhold

    henry reichhold (August 25, 2009, 01:11PM )

    Beautiful photograph

  9. Payam Rahmani

    Payam Rahmani (August 17, 2009, 07:26AM )

    Wow, GigaPan of an aurora?!? This is really amazing. I hope I was there.

  10. th chang

    th chang (August 15, 2009, 09:44PM )

    marvelous shot! very unique opportunity

  11. Jim Trotter

    Jim Trotter (August 15, 2009, 07:48AM )

    very cool, are these colors in the sky always visible ? shutter speed ? thanks for sharing jim trotter

  12. Nathan Wong

    Nathan Wong (August 15, 2009, 07:37AM )

    That was awesome! Thank you!

  13. Keith Rodgerson

    Keith Rodgerson (August 15, 2009, 12:58AM )

    So are those "The Southern Lights" Lovely shot whic follows my rule that a Gigapan should look great before you zoom in. KR

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