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The Call of Antarctica

Cargo worker tightening straps (NSF photo by Alexander Colhoun)Inside an Ice Cave (NSF photo by Alexander Colhoun)Elephant shaped stone carved by wind erosion (NSF photo by Josh LandisCarrying the fuel line (NSF photo by Bill Haals)Halo Display (NSF photo by Lisa Beal)South Pole Infrared Explorer (SPIREX) telescope (NSF photo by Ginny Figlar)

Boing Boing has linked to a great collection of photos taken by people working in the U.S. Antarctic Program. I've been fascinated by Antarctica for years, and would very much like to go there someday to visit, or even perhaps to work.

Antarctica offers unique opportunities for scientific research, from the astronomical observation afforded by its remote location and dry, dark skies, to the continent's own unusual geological and biological features. Workers go there to do their own research or to work as staff or contractors for the NSF. (I notice that the pictures are hosted by the Raytheon Polar Services Company, part of the defense contractor's Technical Services company).

If you're interested in the place I recommend you check out Kim Stanley Robinson's novel, Antarctica. You might also check out the Loney Planet guide to the continent.

Photo credits:
Halo photo by Lisa Beal, NSF
Fuel line photo by Bill Haals, NSF
Cargo and Ice cave photos by Alexander Colhoun, NSF
SPIREX photo by Ginny Figlar, NSF
"Elephant" photo by Josh Landis, NSF

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