Bruce Museum

Photographs from Gondwana: Images of an Ancient Land are currently being exhibited at Bruce Museum.

The exhibition is a combination of art and science, including my images and also scientific information.

 
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The images below are Zeolitised Dolerite Ventifact, Bull Pass and Wind Formation, Victoria Lower Glacier, just two of the twelve photographs on display.

 
 

These labels show an example of the scientific and environmental information included in the exhibition.

 
 
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And many thanks to the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural for the Antarctic marine invertebrates to enhance the science and environment.

 
 

The exhibition runs through February 1, 2015

Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830
Ph: 203.869.0376

 

Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 5pm
Closing at 3pm on Wed 11/26
Closed on Thanksgiving 

Antarctica Expedition : Post #17 - November 9-13, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Antarctica Nov 9-13

 Winding Down

 We have been very lucky with the weather and most of what I wanted to capture has been done.

The day was beautiful and I thought it would be a perfect day to get a little more recording of the Weddell Seals so we headed out to Turtle Rock to see what we could find. Turtle Rock has a seal colony that is being studied by Dan Costa's group. Dan had finished his research and we were able to go out undisturbed to visit the seals and their pups.

 
 Packed up in a Piston Bully

Packed up in a Piston Bully

 

We followed the sound of a newborn pup and his mother. He was so loud that I was able to capture the sounds of him sucking and swallowing!

 
 

The next day I revisited the Pressure Ridges which have provided me with some of my best photographs.

 
 

The frost flowers on the sea ice seem to reflect and refract light and produce a rainbow of colors

 
 Hands get freezing cold while out in the snow...

Hands get freezing cold while out in the snow...

 

...so in addition to hand warmers, you can put your hands on a warm stomach if you can find a brave soul.

 
 Pressure Ridges with Mt. Erebus in the background

Pressure Ridges with Mt. Erebus in the background

 

 

Posted by Diane Tuft

Antarctica Expedition : Post #18 - November 11, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Antarctica November 11

McMurdo has an extensive air fleet that is necessary to fly people and cargo to the South Pole, Christchurch, and to the many camps that are set up in Antarctica.

Some places can be reached using a 212 Helicopter, but most require a small plane that can handle the extreme weather conditions and can fly supplies and reach distances that cannot be reached by helicopter.

There is an Air Force and National Guard presence here and I have become friendly with some of the military.  Today there was an open house to visit the various planes that are on the runway.

 
 Runway support at McMurdo

Runway support at McMurdo

Originally built in 1985, the workhorse of the fleet is the Twin Otter...

 A favorite among pilots

A favorite among pilots

 
 
 
 The pedal is used for much of its operation so they are somewhat worn

The pedal is used for much of its operation so they are somewhat worn

The Basler was built in 1942... its internal parts replaced, and it's still a great plane...

 The Basler

The Basler

The C-130 can go much farther and hold much more cargo. It will be the plane that we take on the 14th to go to the South Pole.

 
 
 
 

Notice that all of these planes have skis in order to land. All of the landing strips in Antarctica are on ice.

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 Going back from the airstrip we saw a lost penguin and a few lone seals... Just another day in Antarctica!!

             

Posted by Diane Tuft at

Antarctica Expedition : Post #19 - November 12, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Antarctica Nov 12

 The South Pole!!

We are finally going to the South Pole where we will be met by Paul Sullivan to give us an extensive tour of the facilities.

Besides being very interested in the research being done at the South Pole, I am also interested in the differences in light between the South Pole and McMurdo.

The South Pole is 700km due south from McMurdo and has the purest air in the world. It is an ideal place to study the atmosphere, galaxies, and small particles known as neutrinos.

 Bo

We check in at building 140 with all of our ECW gear (our orange bags that carry our emergency equipment in case we need to stay over at the South Pole).

 
 Boarding our C-130 at 8:15AM to go to the South Pole

Boarding our C-130 at 8:15AM to go to the South Pole

 Our pilots

Our pilots

 
 
 The seats are on the sides leaving room for cargo in the center

The seats are on the sides leaving room for cargo in the center

 Equipped with a toilet for women...just pull the curtain for privacy

Equipped with a toilet for women...just pull the curtain for privacy

 
 View of take-off from the window

View of take-off from the window

 

The flight to the Pole was over the Trans Antarctic Mountain range, offering amazing aerial views

 
 
 
 

Approaching the Pole was extraordinary… Offering the first glimpse of the crystal blue sky that exists at the Pole

 
 
 
 

The South Pole Station has been rebuilt and is both functional and attractive.

The Station houses science research, housing, a post office, store, lounge, dining, and offices. The weather never reaches 0 degrees so being inside most of the time is essential. Today it was a mild day at -37degrees with a wind chill of -64 degrees.

 
 The science offices

The science offices

 
 Liquid nitrogen to keep the outside dome from fogging

Liquid nitrogen to keep the outside dome from fogging

 Sky camera that photographs the sky through the dome ceiling

Sky camera that photographs the sky through the dome ceiling

 A little tropical fantasy

A little tropical fantasy

 The dining room where we had real ice cream (no real ice cream served at McMurdo)

The dining room where we had real ice cream (no real ice cream served at McMurdo)

Our first visit was to the ARO (Atmospheric Research Organization), which is part of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)... It is here that the atmosphere is analyzed. The South Pole has the purest air in the world and therefore it is an ideal location to measure UV light, ozone depletion, and the composition of various atmospheres around the world in relationship to the atmosphere in the South Pole, which is extremely pure

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 Not even a snowmobile can come within this distance

Not even a snowmobile can come within this distance

The atmospheric measurements are measured without any interference due to pollution…

It looks like CO2 is rising all over the world. One of the reasons is that the earth is getting warmer and when the soil defrosts. The earth releases Carbon, which will be used by microorganisms that will metabolize the Carbon and release CO2 into the atmosphere. The increase in CO2 will warm the earth.

The next facility is the home of the Ice Cube Project. This project focused on detecting invisible uncharged particles called neutrinos. A neutrino can travel through the earth from the North to the South Pole. There are neutrinos everywhere including the atmosphere and the mapping of them is of great scientific interest.

 
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The Ice Cube project consists of drilling 86, 2 Kilometer deep holes in the ground. The holes were spread over 1 square Kilometer. In each hole, a cable with 56 DOM's was suspended. The hole was then filled up with water, making the entire underground space a 1 Square Kilometer Ice Cube.

 Diagram of the Underground Ice Cube
 The locations are under the snow and only marked by flags

The locations are under the snow and only marked by flags

 Diagram of the Underground Ice Cube

Diagram of the Underground Ice Cube

The collision of a neutrino with a proton or neutron causes another particle to be released (muon). The muon will then travel in the same path as the neutrino. This collision causes energy to be released so that the scientists can track the path of the neutrino.

The DOM captures the energy that is released by this collision and transmits this information to be read on a computer.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 The light from this collision is read on the computer

The light from this collision is read on the computer

 

The last facility we visited was the 10 Meter South Pole Telescope.

This telescope measures in the microwave, millimeter wave and sub millimeter wave region of the electromagnetic wave spectrum. It can find hundreds of massive clusters of distant galaxies.

The atmosphere at the South Pole is thin and extremely cold which eliminates water vapor.  Water vapor can emit radiation, which can interfere with incoming astronomical signals.

This is a detailed view of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) or the radiant light left over from the Big Bang (13.5 Billion years ago). This photograph is from 400,000 after the Big Bang. Because light takes so long to reach the Earth, the telescope can show what happened in the past in the universe.

 Inside the telescope

Inside the telescope

We then went to the geographical South Pole. This is where all GPS is measured from… the South Pole is 90 degrees. Of course we walked around the Pole so we could be in all time zones in a few seconds!
 The South Magnetic Pole is approximately 600 miles north in the Southern Ocean

The South Magnetic Pole is approximately 600 miles north in the Southern Ocean

 The ceremonial South Pole

The ceremonial South Pole

I did take some photographs of the snowdrifts. The snow is so pure, fine, dry, and devoid of any impurities that the snowflakes do not reflect and refract the light as would if the snowflake were in another location. The snow is very smooth and gives an unrealistic view of the ripples in the snow.
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  These are color photographs

These are color photographs

It is a strange feeling to be at the bottom of the world where all points point North.

 
 
 

Posted by Diane Tuft

Antarctica Expedition : Post #20 - November 17, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Antarctica Nov 17

The Last Day

It all went so quickly and I had so much to learn on my last day.

Our C-17 was leaving for Christchurch at 4:00PM and I had to pack in as much as possible in the few hours I had left.

At 7:00AM I met the head of the Carpentry shop for breakfast. We headed up to the top of the hill where I was able to have a first hand experience of the "coolest" department.

 
 
 Stretch class at Carpentry...every morning at 7:30

Stretch class at Carpentry...every morning at 7:30

 Everyone decorates their station

Everyone decorates their station

 The new sign for the fire department

The new sign for the fire department

I then went to visit Welding and met Henry Finch who is 73 and a retired welder. He teaches jewelry making 3 days a week at McMurdo and has been coming to the Ice for the past 8 years since he retired.

Some of Henry's creations...

 Silver Wire Sculptures

Silver Wire Sculptures

 A welded creation

A welded creation

It was then time to visit the Pressure Ridges for the last time. The day was warm (12 degrees), no wind, blue skies. This would be my 3rd visit to the Pressure Ridges.

McMurdo is a town with every service necessary to be a self-reliant town. It was particularly interesting to see how a town operates.

After eating a quick lunch (last meal at the Galley!), I squeezed in a visit to the Power Plant, Water Filtration facility and Waste Management.

The Power Plant has four huge generators that create so much heat that they provide most of the hot water necessary for McMurdo.

Becca is in charge of all of the Waste recycling at McMurdo... she is a Microbiologist and spends her day making sure that each microorganism is doing its job in getting rid of any organic waste.

 This is the chart of the various microorganisms that are necessary to do this job.

This is the chart of the various microorganisms that are necessary to do this job.

This is the chart of the various microorganisms that are necessary to do this job.

After the solid is separated from the liquid, the clean liquid is deposited in the sea. The water that we drink is from the sea and is desalinated by reverse osmosis. Chlorine is added and we have our drinking water!

This is the solid waste left after all of the microorganisms do their work. It has no smell and is put into containers, which will be shipped with all of the other trash to California on the Icebreaker in December. This waste will be incinerated. Other waste will go to landfills.

It was now time to get into the Delta to board the C-17 to Christchurch. It will be the first time we will see dark since out arrival in Antarctica.

 The Delta

The Delta

 The C-17

The C-17

Very roomy!!

On our way 

Now I am thinking about my memories of McMurdo... A few of my favorite images…

 Crazy rock formations

Crazy rock formations

 The Dry Valleys

The Dry Valleys

 The colors of the cliffs

The colors of the cliffs

 Ice crystals forming patterns in the sky

Ice crystals forming patterns in the sky

 The Barne Glacier

The Barne Glacier

 A snow covered Hagglund

A snow covered Hagglund

 Peaking out from an Ice Cave

Peaking out from an Ice Cave

 Mt. Erebus

Mt. Erebus

 Diamond Dust

Diamond Dust

 Lake Vanda

Lake Vanda

 Ventifacts

Ventifacts

 Last sunset at McMurdo

Last sunset at McMurdo

 Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

 Pressure Ridges

Pressure Ridges

 Light over the Pressure Ridges

Light over the Pressure Ridges

Quite a Dream!!!

I hope you enjoyed the trip!!

 

Posted by Diane Tuft