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Our journey begins in Christchurch, New Zealand. An impressive cathedral dominates the central square of the city.

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Clock tower in city hall opposite to cathedral.

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Playing chess in the center of town.

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The clothing distribution center (CDC) is the main hub of NSF sponcered Antarctic activities.

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At the CDC, everyone is issued Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) clothing, which weighs nearly 30 lbs.

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Modeling ECW clothing at the South Pole. Note the unusual form of transportation.

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The propped cargo airplane, known as a Herc, is the backbone of the NSF fleet of aircraft that transport goods and personnel to Antarctica.

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During the flight to Antarctica, people are packed like sardines. We have to wear our ECW gear even though it is the middle of summer in New Zealand.

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In addition to the Herc's, jet cargo planes also carry people and equipment to the continent. Here it is landing in the Coastal town of McMurdo at an airfield on the Ross Ice Shelf.

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The active volcano, Mt Erebus, dominates the skyline of Williams Field.

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After leaving the aircraft, we get an official greeting from the native inhabitants. Note the formal attire.

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People are taken to McMurdo by the Terrabus. It has to negotiate a slushy transition from the ice shelf to the land of the Ross Island.

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Not all personnel arrive by aircraft. Some arrive by ship. Here is the NSF research vessel, Nathanial B. Palmer.

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The herc carries most of the cargo to the interior of the continent because it can accomodate both wheels and skies. When landing on skies, the wheels are retracted.

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A closeup of the nose of the Hercules C 130. The skies allow it to land on snow runways.

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View of Herc from the ground as it leaves McMurdo for the South Pole.

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View of transantarctic mountains from Herc cargo plane.

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Another view of glacier and transantarctic mountains.

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View from the Herc cockpit just before arriving at the South Pole.

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Landing at the geographic South Pole, near Amundsen-Scott Research Station.

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After unloading passengers and cargo, the Herc then returns to McMurdo.

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Gaining speed for take-off.

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Adios and have a good flight.

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View of geodesic dome as the Herc returns to McMurdo.

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View of dome (center) and skylab (red building on left) as you leave the plane. The dome houses the dining facility, the doctors office, fuel, power generators, communications, etc.

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The ceremonial barbershop pole is surrounded by the flags of several nations. In the back, you see the early construction of the new South Pole Station.

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Close-up of the barbershop marker near the dome.

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Official pole the marks the exact position of the geographic South Pole on Jan. 1 of every year. The ice sheet advances about 10 meters every year.

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The sign and flag also indicate that you are standing at the geographic South Pole (in case there was any doubt).

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The generators provide the most important resource at the South Pole - heat. Temperatures rarely get above -20C and can go as low as -100F in the winter.

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Getting ready for work. The main entry and exit of the dome is now about 15 feet below the surface (due to drifting snow).

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Inside the dome. Kitchen and serving counter. Food is usually served buffet style and always excellent.

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Dining area next to the kitchen.

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If you get sick or have problems with your teeth, you go see the doctor on station.

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Tractor pulling a tank of fuel for the bathroom furnaces in the blue building behind.

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Close up of the tractor.

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The electronics of the AMANDA-II telescope are located on the 2nd floor of MAPO, the blue building shown in this picture.

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A relatively well equipped machine shop is located on the first floor of MAPO.

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We spend a lot of free time showing guests around. Here a CNN crew gets up-close and personal with an AMANDA hole.

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Beautiful weather phenomena are rather common at the South Pole. Here are several halos and arcs above the flag.

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Bright spots on either side of the sun are called sundogs.

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A rather complex halo pattern can be seen in the reflection.

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Halo around the sign commemorating the arrival of Amundsen and Scott teams, the first explorers to reach the South Pole. Scott and his men never made it back alive.

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Halo around the ceremonial pole.

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Most people sleep in cylindrical tents called Jamesways. They are heated by furnaces.

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Hallway inside one of the Jamesways. It is kept dark because (different) people sleep around the clock.

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The rooms are very small, but at least they afford a bit of privacy. You get a cot, a cabinet, and a small desk.

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The office across from the cot.

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The older dome is being replaced by a brand new facility, which may be ready by 2006.

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Construction of the new South Pole Station as of Feb, 2002.

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Extra curricular activities keep everyone on a good mood. Soccer, shown here, is popular, as is basketball and an occasional cricket match.

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The light sensors must be readied and checked prior to deployment.

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Meanwhile, members of the Polar Ice Coring Office (PICO) begin drilling the hole. Water is heated to near boiling and forced through a hose at high speed.

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The drilling camp is quite extensive. The white dome covers the hole that provide melted water for the drilling operations.

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The tower holds the hot water drillhead in vertical orientation. Hot water squirts out, melting the snow and ice. Gravity keeps the drill pointing down so the hole is very straight.

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The water and electrical hoses are carried by numerous winches. Here, you see just a few of them.

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Hot water heaters raise the temperature of the water to near boiling.

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Sky view of the hot water drill and camp. Once drilling has started, it must be maintained 24-7 (otherwise, the water would freeze to ice). It is hard work.

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AMANDA and PICO personnel working at one of the ice holes. The red building provides heat and the wooden walls provide a wind break.

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Assembing the string of sensors by connecting optical modules to the electrical cable.

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The AMANDA sensor is attached to the electrical cables at regular intervals (typically every 15 meters).

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AMANDA sensors ready to be deployed in ice more than a mile below the surface.

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AMANDA sensor just before entry into the column of water in the 1.5 mile deep hole.

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Racks of electronics are required to process the feint, rare signals from high energy neutrinos.

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Close-up of the optical fiber patch panel.

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We use a power laser on the surface to send light down optical fibers. The light is then dispersed throughout the array in the ice by nylon spheres.

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AMANDA is still being modified to reach its full potential. Here are the new electronics to digitize and readout all waveforms.

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A view of the electronics designed to pick up signals from Supernova.

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During the winter months, the winter overs are rewarded by spectacular auroral displays. This and the next few photos were taken by Robert Schwarz.

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Aurora above dome.

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Another shot of aurora. The vertical green light at the center -right of the photo is from a laser that measures the ozone content of the upper atmosphere.

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Snow sculpture in the shape of the symbol for the neutrino, the Greek letter, nu.

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Logo of AMANDA-II.