Travel Log: December 14th, 1997

Picture of the Day
Transantarctic Mountains
viewed during the flight
from McMurdo.

DECEMBER 14th, 1997

Janice and Randy took off from McMurdo this morning for a flight to the South Pole that lasted 2hrs and 49 minutes. Randy reports that the views from the airplane of the Transantarctic mountains were spectacular. He went on to say that he is not feeling the effects of altitude at 3000 meters elevation, but added that he cannot make the GPS receiver connect.

See also Travel Tales below!

Date: 14 Dec 97
Location: The South Pole
Weather: sunny and dry
Temperature: -28oC
Barometric Pressure: 21 in Hg
GPS latitude: near S 90:00:00
GPS longitude: no report
GPS elevation: no report

Go on to the
next day...

Dec 14th Travel Tales

Janice VanCleave:
At the pole, the snow is very dry. In the sun, the snow sparkles like glitter. The entire area shimmers.

Question: What happens to a compass at the south pole?

Answer: The south pole where Randy and I are, is the geographical south pole. The magnetic south pole is about 1,500 miles away. A more exact distance and the longitude and latitude of the magnetic south pole will be posted later. Another thing that I noticed is that the south end of the needle slants down. This is due to the needle lining up with the magnetic force field around the earth. As one nears the magnetic pole, north or south, the field bends down more. Thus the compass needle slants as it lines up with the slanted lines of for of the magnetic force field.

More later. We are a bit light headed from lack of sleep and the decreased oxygen supply due to the high altitude and the decreased depth of the atmosphere above the pole.

Do want to say that I have seen the geographical south pole from a short distance. After resting, I'll visit it and walk around it. Then I can say that I've walked around the world.