South Pole Diaries 1993/94



4th February 1994

From Michael Burton.....

It's minus 39.6 as I type and we're heading towards that magic figure of 40 below where life starts to become uncomfortable. I'm told you can make instant snow at 40 below by going outside with a cup of hot water and throwing it into the air; as the water comes down it condenses into snow flakes! Something I will now try!

It is definitely getting towards end of season here now; a fleet re-supply planes are coming in over the few days, and PAX (Antarctic jargon for passengers) are being allowed to leave. I'm due out myself on Monday, which by my calcs is the 7th (though maybe one of you could confirm that for me!).

JB and I spent the day on the microthermals now that the IRPS is basically working, deferring mcba's long list of questions and tests. I had made a few errors in the setting up of the microthermals but fortunately Rodney's rescue message came just in the nick of time to set us on the right path. The calibrations are now done and we are starting on the fun task of assembling the supports on the Clean Air tower. The tower is a little rickety to climb and I must admit to feeling a little queazy when on top and looking down, but JB seemed to love it! He put the first support in right at the top just for kicks! We should finish it all today, assumed no hitches develop. Some good photo opportunities await for 'hero shots'.

News just in - the CMBR people have just confirmed the anisotropy they measured here in the background last year, and are now set to build on that results this winter. Science starts to unfold around us......