View from (near) the Pole

Solstice came and went “yesterday” without any fanfare. It is, technically, the longest day of the year (exactly 6 months long). It’s also the only day of the year – recall that at the Pole, sun rises in mid-September and spirals up until the solstice, then spirals down until it sets in March. Yesterday it reached its apex, at about 22 23.5 degrees above the horizon. [Walking down the hall this morning, our meteorologist Rolf stopped me and said “23.5 degrees, Pablo, 23.5.”  “What?”  “That’s the maximum angle of the sun above the horizon.”  “Oh. Uh, thanks!”   Johan also caught the discrepancy, as well as the incorrect use of “apogee” in place of “apex”. I’ll blame it on my misspent youth of model rocketry. Thanks, all!]

But in honor of the solstice, I’ve stitched together and uploaded a panorama I shot last month from the top of one of the snow heaps behind the station. It’s well worth going into full-screen mode, zooming in and hunting around the image. Can you find the Twin Otter? Spoolhenge? Megan’s hill (just left of Spoolhenge, ready to dump you off into the line of wastie boxes). Ice Cube? (off on the horizon at the right edge of the panorama).
The dozers have removed most of the snowpiles by now – including the one this pic was taken from – and moved the snow out to the End of the World (in the distance behind the other big snow pile), but they’re leaving Megan’s hill for us to go over as part of the “Race Around the World”.
Zoom and enjoy!

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