Latitude: 90 degrees South
Longitude: 0 degrees East
Temperature: −42°C( −44°F)
Wind speed: 5 knots
Wind Chill: −53°C( −63°F)
Wind direction: Grid 095
Elevation: Not Given
Kilometers traveled: 0
Notes on daily life:
By Dan reports from Amundsen Scott South Pole Station:
Today was an exciting day! Not only did Lynn and James get both CATs up and running but we were also treated to the rare spectacle of a South Pole solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun forming a shadow across the surface of the planet. The last Antarctic eclipse was in 1985 and the next one won’t be until 2021, we are very lucky to have been here for this moment. Although the coverage was not total at the South Pole (totality at the South Pole is impossible), it did reach close to 90%. We were all warned not to look directly at the Sun without proper solar viewing glasses; although it seems obvious, some people still do it and end up burning their retinas permanently. From start to finish the whole event lasted around an hour, with 90% coverage lasting less than 2 minutes.
Our team was lucky enough to be given a few pairs of solar viewing glasses. The glasses enabled us to take a few minutes off from our traverse preparations
and view the rare event. I sacrificed my solar viewing glasses and used some opaque heavy−duty tape to attach them to my digital camera lens. It didn’t
look very professional but it did the job.
Every 5−10 minutes I took a series of pictures using a range of shutter speeds and aperture sizes. At the end of the eclipse I had taken over two hundred pictures! If you look closely at the images it is possible to make out one and sometimes two large sunspots. During the eclipse the atmosphere took on a surreal texture, the dim light cast eerie shadows and the temperature dropped by almost 10°C (it was −42°C to begin with!) The temperature took several hours to return to near normal.
We were all very excited and worn−out by the day’s events, but everyone managed to muster up enough energy for a group photo before dinner.