Gnomes!

February 11, 2012  South Pole Station Antarctica

Temperature -37.1 F

Population: 130

Gnome Population: 6

The Kern Gnome has come to visit the South Pole! The German based “Kern Precision Scales” had a pretty cool idea: send their little gnome around the world with a specific scale to see if there are any changes in weight due to slight variances in Earth’s gravity. He came from Peru and is off to the bottom of a 2 mile deep mine next! His weight of 309.82g is a little heavier than at other sites, potentially because despite our elevation we’re slightly closer to the Earth’s core. The earth bulges slightly around the equator, causing the diameter measured from Pole to Pole to be ever so slightly smaller. Track the project at: GnomeExperiment.com

The Kern Gnome and myself at the bottom of the world!

The Kern Gnome and the South Pole Telescope!

His weight here at the Pole was 309.82 grams

The little Gnome showed up last week and sparked a station interest in Gnomes. Unfortunately he is not the first Gnome here at the South Pole…here are a few of the others around the Station:

Buying souvenirs? Mailing a letter? Maybe checking out a movie? Keep an eye out and you might see this dude hiding in the store...

Enjoying some warmth and plants? This gnome and his rabbit will keep you company

Don’t even think of putting your dirty dishes in the bucket without scraping it clean…

A nice well-loved Christmas Gnome, unfortunately miss his right arm and cracked in half…

This guy has been kidnapped several times by other departments – thus the duct tape and “hostage” title

He’s had quite the adventure here and has made many friends. Alas, it’s been a short visit, but time to go – the Station closes for winter next week!

The Kern Gnome contemplating a Herc just like the one he arrived (and will leave) aboard

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3 Comments

Filed under Antarctic, South Pole

3 responses to “Gnomes!

  1. Barry Hayes

    He’s heavier for two reasons:
    First, there’s the shape of the earth, as you point out. At the pole he’s closer to the center of the earth; but that would only make about a 1% difference in his weight.
    But at the equator, he’s being thrown around the planet at 1000 miles per hour, while at the pole he’s just pirouetting once a day. That makes about a 5% difference in weight.

  2. You’re right in theory, but it’s not 5%. The greatest difference on Earth is 0.5%. And 0.3% can be explained by rotation, 0.2% explained by the shape of the earth.

  3. Perhaps he fattened himself up for the colder weather? That plus all the thermals he is wearing under his regular togs.

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