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Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
South Pole Radio Telescopes
A Black and White Photo of the Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO)
The South Pole Station Webcams
There are two South Pole Station webcams, one is mounted on the Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO) building and is directed
at the elevated Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station building. The Amundsen-Scott Station webcam focuses on the USAP station building,
dedicated in 2008, and allows USAP participants, scientists, and the general public to view activity, weather, and geography near
and around the South Pole. The Vertical Link can be seen on the left side of the station, allowing access to the A-Pod. B-Pod, the
right half of the station, is connected via the elevated walkway and can be used as the station's "lifeboat" during emergencies.
A second webcam is mounted on the corner of the station showing a view of the radio telescopes in the area known as the Dark Sector,
so named for its restrictions on light and radio interference that might affect the sensitive instruments installed there.
The BICEP3 and South Pole Telescope (SPT) installation can be seen on the right and the Martin A. Pomerantz Observatory (MAPO) building
appears on the left.
Both webcams are used to monitor activities around the South Pole Station and to support international scientific efforts.
Due to the extreme cold and darkness during the Antarctic austral winter, both webcams may experience downtime or even be
disabled to protect the hardware. For information about current research conducted at the South Pole, see the
NSF South Pole Research Projects page.
For a comprehensive look at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, visit the National Science Foundation's
South Pole Station Special Report page.
Live webcam images from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station are based on two conditions: communications availability and the
Live images of the South Pole are carried to the U.S. via communications satellites. Satellite coverage of South Pole Station is
available for roughly 9 hours each day, during which time live images are sent to the USAP.gov web site. The daily satellite communications
window occurs approximately four minutes earlier each day.
To view time frames for the daily satellite communications window, see the
South Pole Station Satellite Communications page.
At the South Pole, the sun rises and sets based on seasons rather than days as it does in mid-latitudes; hence the famous polar six months
of daylight and six months of darkness. When moonlight and ambient temperatures become too low for the webcams to produce usable images,
alternative content is sometimes substituted.
South Pole Station Weather
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NOTE: Webcam 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.
Additional Links and Resources
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).