Jess' South Pole Diaries

    Welcome to my diaries for the winter season 2004/2005. My name is Jessica Dempsey, and I am the winterover scientist for the ACBAR instrument on the VIPER telescope here at Admundsen-Scott Base.

Some (belated) shots from our Midwinter celebrations MIDWINTER

Drills, surgical courses and poking holes in Germans...all my favourite pastimes on one page at MEDICAL MADNESS

Another page of fun photos and recent happenings here at Pole now that it is dark and we are all going LOOOOOOOOOOOPYYYYYYYYYY HERE

Come and see me feed and clean my telescope - just the daily chores of any zoo keeper, er, I mean astronomer... HERE

My cold, beautiful South Pole in all her glory. A growing gallery of outside photos from the last few days of sunlight... My Icy World

Some silliness...a few of the peoples and goings on at Pole. A peek into the inside hilarity that goes on... Playtime at Pole

A few piccies and a rundown of what happened at Station Close February 16th 2005

Want to come with me on a trip out to work? A photo journey of my daily wanderings at Pole can be found HERE

Check out the entries below for the latest: 
  • Jess' Weblog 2004/2005
      Here is a picture of the Viper telescope during the summer with a beautiful ice halo behind it. The ACBAR instrument is designed to take very high resolution measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) which is an area of cosmology that has been hugely dynamic in the past decade. CMB radiation is the afterglow of the Big Bang, now cooled to more than -270C, still a few degrees warmer than the vacuum of space. Understanding its properties can lead us to a knowledge of how the universe formed and what the universe consists of. More information on the VIPER telescope project can be found at the ACBAR webpage 

      I am in the New Station quarters this year, and my room has an amazing view: check this out. The famous South Pole dome is slowly being buried under accumulating snow: this is the reason for the construction of the new station. In the next 18 months the dome's few remaining buildings will be pulled down, and finally the dome will be disassembled. It is a shame, it is really an icon of the station. The orange building is SkyLab, which has a number of auroral instruments on top of the roof. The top floor is the band room, with drumkit, guitars, keyboards, you name it. NEW!! I have had a grave error on this page pointed out. In the foreground, nearly buried now, are NOT the fuel arches. Of course they aren't. How silly of me. One is the power plant arch which houses the huge generators that provide the Stations power and the other is the old garage arch. There. Don't you feel so much better now, Chad? I really really really appreciate having my mistakes pointed out by the Station facilities engineer. I guess someone needs to keep me in line... :)  

      At the start of winter, we can request our winter housing. I am glad to move as my previous room had a partition wall which is thin and very leaky about noise. My new room is downstairs and across the corridor from the old one. I lose my dome view, but hey, it'll be dark soon anyway. I've gone to some lengths to make this room pretty comfy.