Geoff Sims @ UNSW
Home South Pole Diaries 2012/13 14th January, 2013


Monday, 14th January, 2013

South Pole - again (Geoff)

Yep, we are still here... so here are a few so called "hero" shots of our team. Though I don't feel too hero-ish, having travelled in an aircraft to the Pole, and walked a mere 50 m from a nice warn heated building to take the photos. The newest addition to our team is Ben Adkison, who is our mountaineer/guide for the field camp at Ridge A. Basically, his job is to bring us home alive, no big deal really. He also shoots with Canon so we will get along. You can also check out his blog Why Not Go Now?.

The ceremonial pole (place to get your photo taken)

The geographic pole marker

The actual geographic pole (?!)

The geographical pole is marked by a new machined marker each year. This year it represents the eight planets of our solar system, with their positions as seen at January 1st, 2013:

From the machinist who designed it:

Position of the planets on Jan 1st 2013 viewed from the South Pole; and the search for knowledge about our planet and out past our solar system. It's what we do at the South Pole.

This year I wanted to return the marker to more of a traditional geographical marker and simplify the design. So rather than celebrating an event it's back to marking the southern most point on our earth. As a result, this one has lots of pointy bits.

This marker shows the position of the planets as viewed from the South Pole on January 1st 2013. The seven (brass) planets are displayed on a copper inlay. In the very center a small copper star marks the south pole and also represents the earth sciences done from here as we reach out to understand our planet. The large brass star represents astronomy and astrophysics as it extends out past our solar system in the quest for knowledge.

In the center of the marker (in brass) we have the sun, sunset and moon with the southern cross, including the pointers. If you look carefully, the small inscription above the moon reads "Accomplishment & Modesty" this was a reference to honor Neil Armstrong as he passed away when I was making this section with the moon.

The small notches on the inner brass section stretch between day and night and represent all polies. Winter can be a tough haul but it's the summer polies that make a winter possible.

For those of you who still think Pluto should be a planet, you'll find it included underneath, just to keep everyone happy. "Bring back Pluto" I say!


Random photo of a German Basler DC-3 aircraft

-- Geoff


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