chilling feet

chilling feet

Friday, March 3, 2017

Antarctica: South Pole: Sundogs and Unicycling


One of the fantastic weather phenomenon that occurs here at the South Pole are commonly referred to as sun dogs. Sarah and I first saw our first sun dogs up in the Arctic this past year and they are quite unusual to behold. They look like a rainbow forming a circle around the sun. Here are some pics of one from the other day I took while delivering some good to our cold storage berms outside. 


I think this was the most complete sundog I have ever seen before. Usually I've only seen them when there are arcs of the circle showing on each or just one side of the sun. I was pretty excited to see what seemed to be a sun dog show for one. Now that the station is closed not many people get out towards the berms and as far as I knew I was the only person for at least a half to a full mile enjoying this beautiful sun dog. Who knows, I'm going with it.


So what is a sun dog? There is a link to our local intranet site connected to our meteorology department and they define it like this:

What is a "mock sun"? "Mock sun" (also "sun dogs") is a colloquial term for a phenomenon called "parhelion" which occurs fairly commonly in polar atmospheres. It is a false image of the sun, created by the bending of rays of sunlight within crystals of ice in the atmosphere. Parhelia are usually observed in pairs, one on each side of the sun and at the same elevation. They tend to be red-colored on the side nearest the sun. Parhelia are quite close to the sun when the sun is close to the horizon, but move further away as the angle above the horizon increases.

Totally makes sense now right? It's pretty darn cool for sure.

Well like I said in our last post, Sarah and I are trying to be as active as possible in the South Pole community while we are here. This past Tuesday night Eric started up our learn to ride unicycles. A little crazy - nah. We met and watched some safety videos to ensure we didn't immediately kill ourselves, and then we watched a few videos of people doing extreme unicycling I did not even know existed - like mountain unicycling.

Our pictures and videos did not come out too well from this event but I'll have more good ones is the future. And yes I'm growing a mustache because a beard is not allowed for SCBAs. This means it had to start from the ground up and no easy peasy shaving a beard into a mustache. You're not hard core unless you live hard core.

I could not get the video to load so you'll just have to wait for those.