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South Pole Station Weather
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NOTE: Camera images are often obscured due to harsh and unpredictable weather conditions.
The South Pole station is one of three year-around stations operated by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The other two United States Antarctic Program stations are McMurdo Station on the Ross Island and Palmer Station on Anvers Island near the Antarctic Peninsula. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station sits at the Earth's axis on a shifting continental ice sheet several miles thick.
The South Pole is a unique research site that supports projects ranging from cosmic observations to seismic and atmospheric studies. The extremely dry, cold air is perfectly suited for observing Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation-the faint light signature left by the Big Bang that brought the universe into being nearly 14 billion years ago. Another large astrophysical project at the pole is IceCube—a one-cubic-kilometer international high-energy neutrino detector built in the clear ice, 1.25-2.5 kilometers below the South Pole Station.
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Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, dedicated in January 2008, begins austral summer operations in October of each year. The station typically remains in summer operating mode until early February, at which point the eight-month long winter season begins. At an elevation of 2,835 meters (9,300 feet), South Pole has an average monthly temperature in the austral summer of -28°C (-18°F); in the austral winter, the average monthly temperature is -60°C (-76°F).