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> Mountain of Fire and Ice, December 23, 2005
Dena_Rosenberger
post Dec 24 2005, 03:39 AM
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Mountain of Fire and Ice
23 December, 2005

For those interested in things Antarctic, check out the weekly Antarctic newspaper at http://AntarcticSun.usap.gov

Hello from the Ice!
For additional Antarctic pics, check out the Gallery.

Where’s Rosenberger?
Ross Island, Antarctica

Erebus was known as the embodiment of primordial darkness, the son of Chaos (who was the void from which all things developed, known also as Darkness). According to Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus was born with Nyx (Night), and was the father of Aether (the bright upper atmosphere) and Hemera (Day). Charon, the ferry-man who took the dead over the rivers of the infernal region, is also said to be the son of Erebus and Nyx.

Later legend describes
Erebus as the Infernal Region below the earth. In this version, Hades was split into two regions: Erebus, which the dead have to pass shortly after they have died, and Tartarus, the deepest region, where the Titans were imprisoned. Aristophanes' Birds says that Erebus and Nyx were also the parents of Eros, the god of love. Erebus is often used metaphorically for Hades itself (from Encyclopedia Mythica).

Mt. Erebus dominates the skyline from everywhere I have been on Ross Island. The world’s most southerly volcano, it is 3795 m high (12,450 ft). With a glance, you can usually see what the wind is doing at that altitude by looking for the steam plume coming out of the crater. Erebus was first climbed in 1908 by a party from Ernest Shackelton’s expedition, who were staying at Cape Royds. It is one of two volcanoes on the island, the other one, Mt. Terror, is dormant.

Sometimes it is quiet,

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and sometimes steam and smoke billow from the crater.

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(Photo courtesy of Bob Champoux, from a helo, or course)


Sometimes the clouds swirl and grow over this active volcano and seem to get caught on the rim.

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Mt. Erebus has moods.

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Peaking through the clouds over Scott Base:
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To show that he really has a heart of gold, Erebus emits about 80 grams of metallic gold crystals per day (from Lonely Planet – Antarctica). Well, lately Mt. Erebus, lord of primordial darkness and son of Chaos, has been having a temper tantrum. There is a live rim-camera on Erebus with a feed into the common science room just outside of our office in Crary Lab. It is pointed at one of the lava lakes inside of the crater. Whenever there is an eruption, the Erebus scientists make it into a QuickTime movie and put it onto the McMurdo server for anyone to download. To see one of the eruptions, click on the link below:

http://www.arcus.org/TREC/downloads/ErebusEruptionWeb.mov

Parting Shot:
In this picture, the ice-covered peninsula that points away behind Erebus is Hut Point Peninsula. McMurdo Station is way out on the tip of this point. Away in the distance, Black Island and White Island poke up above the ice.

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(Photo courtesy of Bob Champoux)

Did you know?
Covering an area almost the size of France, the Ross Ice Shelf was discovered in 1841 by British explorer James Clark Ross (go figure). It ranges from 100 m (approximately 300 ft) thick at the ice edge to 1000 m where glaciers and streams meet it near the land edge. Icebergs break off, or calve, constantly from this huge floating ice sheet. (Source – Lonely Planet)

Current Conditions at McMurdo Station
Some weak weather disturbances continue to bring variable weather. Visibility unlimited with high clouds and chance of snow (White Christmas?).

Right now:
Winds from the east at 10 knots
Pressure: 29.610 inHg
Temperature: 30 oF/-1 oC with wind chill 14 F/ -10 C


Sunset: February 20 at 1:38 am
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Guest
post Dec 24 2005, 11:30 PM
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Since you are on the South Pole and Santa lives in the North Pole- Does that mean you will be the last stop on his route?

Jim H- Ventura, CA
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Gina Martin
post Jan 2 2006, 11:51 PM
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Hey, Dena - thanks for letting us watch the volcano explode!
Gina and Bob ohmy.gif
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Dena_Rosenberger
post Jan 3 2006, 06:46 AM
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Hello you two!

Isn't that a fun eruption! What an incredible sight. I guess I should be glad I didn't see it first hand. Happy New Year!

Dena



QUOTE(Gina Martin @ Jan 2 2006, 11:51 PM)
Hey, Dena - thanks for letting us watch the volcano explode! 
Gina and Bob    ohmy.gif
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Dena_Rosenberger
post Jan 3 2006, 06:49 AM
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Hi Jim!
Well, Santa actually did make it down here. In fact, there were about 20 santas playing rugby against 20 elves in the dirt lot between the Galley and the dormitories on Christmas Eve. So I guess it must have been his last stop!

Happy New Year!

Dena



QUOTE(Guest @ Dec 24 2005, 11:30 PM)
Since you are on the South Pole and Santa lives in the North Pole- Does that mean you will be the last stop on his route?

Jim H- Ventura, CA
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