Nautical Twilight

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!

The moon over the waste berms

The moon over the waste berms about a week ago

DZ at lunch

DZ at lunch

The power plant and VMF arches with heavy equipment parked in front

The power plant and VMF arches with heavy equipment parked in front

The station in early afternoon

The station in early afternoon

Red lights at DZ to avoid light pollution and killing night vision

Red lights at DZ to avoid light pollution and killing night vision

Blaise and Andrew working on the roof to remove a cover for an all-sky camera at -62F with a 25kt wind.

Blaise and Andrew working on the roof to remove a cover for an all-sky camera at -62F with a 25kt wind.

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4 Comments

Filed under Antarctic, South Pole, Winter

4 responses to “Nautical Twilight

  1. Bonnie Foz

    Hello Wastie! What wonderful posts you post! And I also read an Arctic Sun article you wrote—impressive. I don’t know if you ever go back to your old posts to read comments, but I wrote some for some pretty old ones. But here I am, caught up again. I have to say, the list you posted of all of the Waster Categories was Something Else! What a gargantuan task. Nighty Night! xx

    • Bonnie Foz

      ps—all is well here. Jessica now a nurse flying solo (without supervision) in the little hospital in Vermont. Up here it’s starting to warm up. Down there you ARE going to go below minus 100, aren’t you?! Love, B.

      • Glad to hear everyone is doing well – We reached -98.9F on April 1, but have since been in the -60F to -70F range. Most winters the temps dip below -100F, but not all. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      • Hopefully! Some years it happens, some years it doesn’t. But it is a bit of a ‘milestone.’ I just keep thinking about the Logger Lover song…

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