Start of spring for us, darkness at South Pole
* Unsettled today, sunshine returns tomorrow: Full Forecast *
This past weekend, while the Northern Hemisphere sprung into spring and the Arctic sunrise brought sunlight to the North Pole for the first time since September, the other end of the Earth began six months without sunlight. The South Pole's only sunset of the year occurred at 2:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time yesterday (9:01 a.m. on March 23 South Pole/New Zealand time).
Keep reading for more on the change of season at the South Pole...
Forty-seven scientists and staff will winter over at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station this season, continuing astronomical and atmospheric research that began in summer. The crew celebrated the year's sunset with a group dinner and party.
The U.S. Antarctic Program flew its last flight of the season to and from the South Pole Station in mid-February, bringing in essential supplies such as food and fuel and carrying out summer-only staff, waste and scientific samples, such as those from the Atmospheric Research Observatory. The next flight to resupply the Pole will arrive in October.
While the sun will not shine there for the next six months, the Pole will experience spectacular views of stars, the moon and the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) during the Southern Hemisphere winter. Temperatures will reach nearly 100 below zero Fahrenheit and wind chills may dip down to 150 below. Aren't you glad it's spring in the Northern Hemisphere?
View a live webcam from Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, courtesy of the United States Antarctic Program.
The author was part of a group of journalists selected by the National Science Foundation to travel to Antarctica in January and report on weather, climate and environmental science research going on there. Read more about Ann's trip from previous posts.
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