After 10 months at the South Pole it is finally time to head home.  The new medical team (finally!) arrived, turnover completed, and bags packed.  Weather and aircraft mechanical issues delayed our departure for several days…but eventually our LC-130 arrived and approximately 30 “Polies” boarded this wonderful flying machine that would transport us back to friends and family.  It all … More Departure

Winter’s End

The (austral) winter season at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station ended around noon on Saturday, 27 October, with the landing of the first New York Air National Guard LC-130 in almost 10 months.  In some ways it seems as though the last flight we saw in February just left; in other ways it seems an eternity.  … More Winter’s End

Cleanest Air On Earth

The cleanest air in the world is at the South Pole.  As the “emptiest” continent, there are few manmade sources of pollution in Antarctica.  Air samples collected here are considered to be indicative of uncontaminated background air, which is why the atmosphere has been studied at the South Pole since establishment of the first permanent … More Cleanest Air On Earth

Astronomy On Ice

Shortly after attainment of the South Pole…first by Roald Amundsen in December of 1911, then by Captain Robert Scott in January of 1912…Rear Admiral Robert Peary inquired of Professor Edwin Frost at the University of Chicago as to the suitability of the South Pole for astronomical observation, given its high-altitude, low humidity, and long winter … More Astronomy On Ice

A Sunrise For Lucy

I can never see a beautiful sunrise without thinking of a girl I never met.  By all accounts Lucy was one the sweetest humans ever to walk the face of the Earth; a daughter that would make any parent proud.  The one thing I know for sure about Lucy was that she loved sunrises, especially … More A Sunrise For Lucy


Today is the equinox.  It is that time of year when the length of the day and the night are approximately the same, hence the name which comes to us from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).  As mentioned in previous blogs, it is a time when the Sun makes its semi-annual journey across … More Equinox