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The Elevated Station seen from Grid South by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
0.10 Gigapixels
Date added
Sep 11, 2009
Date taken
Sep 10, 2009

Nikon D80's


Here is a view of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station as it appeared on March 1, 2009. I photographed this landscape as I was walking back from a weather balloon launch in the BIF.

March 1st was a very calm day with the sun still high enough above the horizon to give a pleasant warmth to the -50 degree Fahrenheit air. We were fast approaching sunset, and you will notice that the shadows are quite long. By the end of the month, the sun will be gone and we will not see it again until the equinox in September.

There is some haze in much of the image because the exhaust from the power plant sinks quickly when it hits the cold air, and then it stays close to the ground, making a bit of a fog around the station if the wind isn’t strong enough to carry it away. The wind that day was less than 5 knots and was blowing from grid east, as it commonly does, and so the exhaust was blowing slowly towards grid west. The wind at the South Pole blows so seldom towards grid east that the Clean Air Sector is located there.

From this angle, you can see the four wings of the station, all of which face grid south, which is the general direction of McMurdo and New Zealand. From left to right, the wings house the gymnasium, the emergency pod and the two main berthing areas. In the center of the image you can see the Dome, the stacks of the power plant, and the doors of the LO and VMF shop at the ends of the arches. The unfinished particle board siding of the BIF and the cryo lab stand out on the right side of the image.

Have a look around and see what you can find.

The 23 images of this panorama were photographed with a Nikon D80 and stitched with Autopano Pro.

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