The sun is now ~9deg below the horizon and it’s getting darker every day! There is still a brighter spot on the horizon where the sun is and we won’t reach technical darkness until May 11. For now we’re still in Nautical Twilight (sun is between 6 and 12deg below the horizon). A few of the research projects here study auroraus and other astronomical phenomenon that require darkness. To avoid interference from white light, and to preserve our night vision we cover all the station windows with cardboard and use only minimal red lights outside. Everyone has been issued a red headlamp.
The brightest stars are out: Canopus, Sirius, the Southern Cross and the two pointer stars. More appear every day. On Monday April 8th we got to witness Iridium flares, a fascinating event in which iridium satelites reflect the sun creating a very bright flare in the sky. It only occurs a few times throughout the winter, and this time around it’s still too light out to get a good picture. We’re having a bit of a wind storm this week, but we’re anticipating our first aurora sighting any day now!