Six months of darkness are one of the reasons powerful telescopes are located at the South Pole. (Amindsen-Scott US South Pole Station, WAP USA-21 & WAP USA-36).
The photo by Danny Hampton (here aside), shows the South Pole Telescope, operated by the University of Chicago, as they study the origins of the universe.
Thanks and credit to: The Antarctic Support Contract
The Antarctic Support Contract team provides station operations, logistics, information technology, construction, maintenance and more on Antarctica and at support facilities worldwide.
Supporting scientific research on the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and emptiest place on Earth requires exceptional logistics and planning expertise. Leidos is the prime contractor for the National Science Foundation’s United States Antarctic Program (USAP).
One continent has not yet confirmed a case of the novel coronavirus. It’s a place of barren ice, where the all-consuming cold and darkness of winter is fast approaching.
Over the past few months, some 4,000 people from around the world have watched from Antarctica as the coronavirus pandemic, swept around the globe, reaching all but its southernmost reaches. “You’d better stay there, you’re safer there,” Alberto Della Rovere, leader of the 35th Italian expedition to Antarctica, said his colleagues at home told him via WhatsApp.
For now, they appear to be right. Even in normal times, only a limited number of people are allowed in and out of Antarctica, with medical workers screening for signs of influenza and other illnesses before arrival.
“Right now, this, Antarctica, is the safest place in the world,” Della Rovere said. “There are no outside contacts and we’re far away from any settlement.”
Someone call it “Shackleton Memorial”, others “Frank Wild Memorial” while HSM (Historical Sites and Monuments) with its official HSM-53 call this place “Endurance Memorial site”.
Beyond all names that are attributed to it, Point Wild on Elephant Island, hosts the bust of Luis Antonio Pardo Villalòn, the Chilean Navy Officer who, in August 30th 1916, commanded the steam Tug Yelcho to rescue the 22 stranded crewmen of Sir Ernast Shackleton’s expedition who survived the wreck of the ship Endurance living for four and one half months in this island.
As a matter of fact, most cruises stopping at Point Wild , an epic place where part of the Shackleton’s expedition members camped waiting for a rescue. It’s not easy to set foot at Elephant Island where in spite of beautiful landscape, the very rugged coastline and frequent extreme weather makes landings difficult.
As second-in-command of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Frank Wild was left in charge of twenty-one men on desolate Elephant Island as Shackleton and a crew of five, made their epic rescue mission to South Georgia aboard a lifeboat. From 24 April to 30 August 1916 Wild and his crew waited on Elephant Island, surviving on a diet of seal, penguin and seaweed untill they were finally rescued by Shackleton aboard the Chilean ship Yelcho.
Point Wild (61°03′ South 54°50′ West) is though named after Frank Wild with a monument dedicated to the Chilean captain Luis Pardo who rescued him and his men.
The Bust of Captain Luis Alberto Pardo, monolith and plaques have been placed on Elephant Island and their replicas on the Chilean bases Capitan Arturo Prat (62°30’South, 59°49’West) WAP CHL-Ø1 and President Eduardo Frei (62°12’South, 62°12′ West) WAP CHL-Ø5. Bronze busts of the pilot Luis Pardo Villalon were placed on the three above-mentioned monoliths during the XXIVth Chilean Antarctic Scientific Expedition in 1987–88
The plaque displays the following words: “Here on August 30th, 1916, the Chilean Navy cutter Yelcho commanded by Pilot Luis Pardo Villalón rescued the 22 men from the Shackleton Expedition who survived the wreck of the Endurance living for four and one half months in this Island”.
Snow has taken on a sinister-looking blood red colour at a UkrainianVernadsky Research Base (WAP UKR-Ø1) due to a type of algae which contributes to climate change.
For several weeks, scientists working at Vernadsky in Antarctica have been surrounded by what they call “raspberry snow”. Images released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science on Monday showed the phenomenon, which is caused by microscope snow algae when weather conditions are favorable during Antarctica’s summer months.
The ministry explained that the algae is able to survive the extreme cold temperatures during the Antarctic winter and begins to sprout when warmer temperatures arrive in the summer (between October and February). The algae’s cells have a red carotene layer which protects it from ultraviolet radiation and produces red spots in the snow like “raspberry jam”, the ministry said.
At the northern tip of Antarctica, 800 miles from the nearest pub, lies the world’s most southerly Post Office. Port Lockroy a former British outpost and now an Antarctic research station (WAP GBR-Ø1),, has no running water and lies on an isolated island about the size of a primary school playing field.
A team of four adventurers live there for a few months each year tasked with running the Post Office and keeping an eye on the 2,000 gentoo penguins that inhabit the island.
With workers bracing frigid -10C temperatures and sometimes going days without a wash, you might ask who’d be mad enough to take a job there.
Step in Laura MacNeil: A librarian based in Edinburgh who describes her stint at Lockroy as a “once in a lifetime trip”.
Running the base’s gift shop between November 2016 and March 2017, Laura, 40, admits she had a few tough moments at the site on Antarctica’s Goudier Island. Port Lockroy is run and maintained by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), a charity that conserves historic buildings and artefacts in Antarctica.
Read more at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/11032252/antarctica-port-lockroy-research-station-gift-shop-job-apply/
Just today I’ve received a post card (see pics) stampded at Port Lockroy. It was a great surprise , a gift from my good friend Eddy De Busschere a keen Polar Philatelic collector at BPES (Belgian Polar expedition Society). TNX Eddy!
Antarctica’s bicentenary year, a right time to join UKAHT, a site that keeps the Antarctic enthusiast up to date with lots of exciting work in Antarctica and beyond.
By joining UKAHT , you will receive a regular e-bulletins updating you on all our exciting projects and sharing opportunities, events and fundraising news too. Why not become a “Friend of Antarctica” by joining UKAHT as a member?
UKAHT aim is to connect like-minded people who share an interest in this remarkable continent, together exploring the wonder of Antarctica and reliving its many inspirational stories to promote a greater understanding of this extraordinary place and the role we all have in protecting it.
Help protect, inspire and champion the future of Antarctica
In the year of the 200th Anniversary of Antarctic Discovery, we must highlight an important person and interpreter of the recent history of polar explorations.
«Antarctica can serve as a model for all humanity today. It’s a Continent without national borders. It is governed by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been in existence for 60 years. This is a superb document, which gives Antarctica to the scientists, not to the military» Viktor Boyarsky
Viktor Boyarsky is a prominent Russian traveller, Honored Polar Explorer of Russia, Chairman of the Polar Commission of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), member of the National Geographic Society of the United States, full member of the National Tourism Academy and the International Academy of Refrigeration, Candidate of Science in Physics and Mathematics and member of the Union of In 1987, Boyarsky was sent as a Soviet representative to the International Trans-Antarctic Expedition, timed to the 30th anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed by 12 states, including the USSR, and determined the status of the Antarctic as a continent of peace and cooperation.
In September 2002, the Russian President awarded Boyarsky with a medal of the Order “For Services to the Fatherland,” 2nd Class. In 2008, he received the Order of Boris Vilkitsky and the badge “Honored Hydrometeorology Professional” for his contribution to the development of polar science.
Global warming was leading to an “irreversible” mass melting of the Antarctic ice and purging carbon from the atmosphere was the only solution to slow the process, an Australian climate scientist told Reuters on Wednesday.
Recent human activity has intensified global warming, which could result in a mass melting of Antarctica, said Zoe Thomas, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales who was part of an international team of scientists that recently published a paper on Antarctic ice melting. The study showed the world could lose most of the , which rests on the seabed and is fringed by floating ice, in a warmer world.
The Lauretan tradition, relating to the transport of the house of Mary, by angels from Nazareth to the ancient Illyria (1291) then from there to the ancient territory of Recanati-Italy (1294), appeared very suggestive for the choice of the Madonna of Loreto as “Patroness” who moves through the air.
The relationship between the “Madonna di Loreto” (Our Lady of Loreto) and the aeronautical world, dates back to March 1920 when she was officially proclaimed “Aeronautarum Patrona” by Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922). Our Lady of Loreto has since been the patroness of Aviators.
The 2020 Jubilee which marks the 100th Anniversary of the papal proclamation, will be honored on the occasion of a Jubilee opened on December 8, 2019, that will continue the celebrations till December 10, 2020.
The Lauretan Jubilee is a great experience of collaboration in synergy with different realities and institutions. The main ones are first of all, represented by the Italian Air Force, with General Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Monsignor Antonio Coppola, delegate of the Military Ordinary in Italy. For International Women’s Day (March 8), the shrine will host a special pilgrimage of women pilots, and March 24, the 100th Anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s proclamation, members of the Italian Air Force will gather at the shrine.
Our Lady of Loreto, the Patron Saint of aviators for a Century starts when the veterans of “World War I” prayed the Virgin Mary asking to protect them from new conflicts or when flying. To celebrate the 100th Anniversary, Pope Francis announced a Lauretan Jubilee for all aviators and air travelers. In 2020 three statues depicting Our Lady of Loreto will fly to reach (commercial and military) national and international airports.
Italian Air Force are flying a statue of Our Lady of Loreto to several IAF Bases in Italy, while the Italian airline “Alitalia” are flying a statue to 20 civilian airports throughout the country during the year; the statue will stay in the airport chapels for a two-week period of veneration. Alitalia also has promised to fly another copy of statue internationally, beginning with the pope’s hometown, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. We will physically and spiritually bring the message of peace and brotherhood , shared by the air transport community, by the passengers and by the devotees of Our Lady of Loreto in the travels of the “Pilgrim Virgin” -declared ENAC Chairman Nicola Zaccheo-.
WAP together with the AAA (Veterans of the Air Force Association) are proposing that a statue of Our Lady of Loreto will be flown by IAF and placed in a small votive corner at the Italian MZS Base in Antarctica (WAP ITA-Ø1), following the original proposal launched 17 years ago, to build a small chapel at Mario Zucchelli Station…. the dream is still on!
On Febr. 4th 2020 the Argentinean Esperanza Base (WAP ARG-Ø4) in Antarctica, recorded its hottest day on Thursday.18.3°C!
The new highest temperature was recorded on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at 63°23′ South by the instrumental devices at Esperanza Base.
The previous record was 17.5°C set in March 2015 in the same site also at Esperanza, where the station’s data recording goes back to 1961 by Servicio Meteorológico Nacional- Argentina photo credit: Nestor Franco
Anadolu Agency has published a bilingual book on Turkey’s Antarctic expedition.
In Turkish and English, the book titled Turkey’s Journey to the White Continent: Antarctic Expeditions, details Turkish expeditions in Antarctica, work carried out by Turkish Teams and the country’s objectives for the continent.
Covering setting up of Turkey’s meteorological observation station, and the team’s scientific efforts in Antarctica, the book is now on sale in bookstores and online.
The book also covers an internationally renowned Turkish diver Sahika Ercumen’s diving in the Southern Ocean where the world’s oceans meet surrounding Antarctica.
Meanwhile, the book includes Anadolu Agency correspondents’ impressions of the continent, and photos taken during Turkey’s 3rd national scientific expedition to Antarctica, Anadolu Agency Director-General Senol Kazanci said.
In February 2019, a Turkish team traveled to Antarctica as part of the 3rd National Antarctic Science Expedition to spend 30 days, which was supported by the Turkish Presidency, the Industry and Technology Ministry, and ITU’s Polar Research Center, along with other Turkish universities. Read more at: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/corporate-news/anadolu-agency-releases-book-on-antarctic-expedition/1721876
On March 30, 1927, the Navy’s Petty Officer Emilio Baldoni managed to contact Ushuaia, inaugurating the Orcadas Radio Station (LRT), first in Antarctica. Until then the staff remained in communication with the rest of the world for a year until the arrival of their replacements. The Antarctic Naval Command is the organism of the Argentine Navy on which the Orcadas Base (WAP ARG-15) currently depends.
Orcadas Base WAP ARG-15, Laurie Island, Antarctica
Since February 22, 1904, Argentina has been present on the white continent with the creation of the Orcadas Antarctic Base, the first of the permanent wintering and temporary bases, Antarctic shelters, camps and scientific stations.
“Marka” Joint-Stock Company has recently made postal products dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the start of the Bellingshausen and Lazarev expedition to Antarctica.
New postage objects include stamps, envelopes, souvenir packs, unmarked art cards, and special cancellation stamps for Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Penza.
For example, the “Vostok” and “Mirny” sloops are depicted on the new postage stamps; the fields of the postal block are bordered by the landscape of Antarctica. Models of sailing sloops, complemented by the expedition’s route map, also illustrate unmarked postcards. A souvenir pack includes a postal block and a vignette, as well as a first day envelope with cancellation for Moscow.
Epiphany takes all the holidays away, says the motto; today, Jan 6th marks the end of the famous. “twelve days of Christmas”.
Stations and field camps in Antarctica are in midst of scientific research and study’s activities, but how researchers (who are also radio amateurs) commit , do their free time?
Among the personnel staffed in Antarctica there are some radio amateurs; they are specialists and researchers … who knows if they will be allowed to make their voices heard all over the world, through the use of the radio equipment of their respective Bases?
Video below is a mix of New Year Greetings from Antarctica dedicated to the 200 years of itsdiscovery, dedicated to all the National and International Teams actually involved the summer campaigns in the Icy Continent!
Radio Amateurs are a great family, now joined together in a WW marathon; a way to celebrate Guglielmo Marconi, a way to remember the bicentenary 1820-2020 of the first exploration of man in Antarctica.
China is now building the country’s first permanent airport in the South Pole which will provide logistical support to scientists and enhance airspace management in Antarctica.
The 35th China’s Antarctic expedition last year had the major task to build the airport which will be completed shortly; the selected site is an ice cap 28 km away from Zhongshan Antarctic Station (WAP CHN-Ø2), surveyed by China’s 33rd Antarctic expedition in 2017. The construction of the planned airport was carried out by China’s 35th Antarctic expedition and now the Country is therefore joining the US, Russia, Britain, Australia and New Zealand among others in having airfields in the Antarctic, which is rich in natural resources such as silver, gold, platinum and coal.
Chinese scientists built a 4 kilometer-long, 50 meters wide runway for fixed-wing aircraft in 2009 during the 25th expedition in the Antarctic. In 2010, an airport called Feiying was constructed on the ice sheet, according to the earlier official Chinese media reports. According to Digital Paper, China’s first permanent airport in Antarctica, will facilitate the nation’s research and expeditions on the Icy continent.
Approaching the New Year, our good friend and President of the Russian Robinson Club, Yuri Zaruba UA9OBA (here in a picture of 25 years ago … with Irina Zaruba & Gianni Varetto I1HYW), has posted a WW message on the RRC web site with the wishes for the coming 2020.
Looks like 2020 will be full of new projects; and for the Antarctic fans it falls into the 200th Anniversary of discovering Antarctica … a good oportunity to join it!
By entering the above RRC website, everyone can print a 2020 calendar; it’s a gift from RRC-HQ (TNX RA1ZZ) to Radio amateurs WW.Alternatively, the calendar is available at: https://i.imgur.com/dZU43vK.jpg By the New Year’s holiday gives all radio amateurs.
WAP is happy to join the RRC Antarctic Anniversary celebration.
Tho the thousands of our readers, to the Antarctic WAP followers, to the personnel actually involved in the so very remote Research bases in Antarctica, to the Hams Worldwide who enjoy Antarctica as we do,
Max IK1GPG, Betty IK1QFM, Gianni I1HYW, Floyd KK3Q @ Worldwide Antarctic Program
Last tuesday dec. 17, Pavlo TarasoviychUT1KY, was the guest author in a presentation of the book “Antarctica, the sixth Continent” to the students of the high school . Pavlo Tarasovych (Ham radio callsign UT1KY) is a Ukrainian biologist; from 2000 to 2001 he was a member of the fifth Ukrainian Antarctic scientific expedition.
Antarctica has always been a land of interests by researchers from different countries, people want to know more about its plant and animal world. In his book, the author gives historical references and reports from the southern continent and the Ukrainian ” Academic Vernadsky ” Station (WAP UKR-Ø1).
A significant interest to the reader is a description of animals and birds that the pictorial book contains. Being a source of interest, the book will capture not only the fantasy of the children or the wish to learn of students but also all those who love nature.
If interested, the book can be requested directly to: Pavlo Tarasovych, P.O. Box 85, Rivne, 33027, Ukraine
A very shocked news did reach the Antarctic community.
A Chilean C130 with 38 souls aboard, tragically crashes into the Drake Passage halfway from Punta Arenas to the Chilean EduardoFrei Montalva Antarctic Air Base (WAP CHL-Ø5) on King George Island.
The aircraft took off monday dec. 9th from the southern city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia at 16:55 local time (19:55 GMT) heading to the main Chilean Base in Antarctica to provide logistical support to that Base.
Drake Passage is a body of water connecting the South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans, and is known for treacherous weather conditions. Local weather was good at the time of the plane’s disappearance and would have had enough fuel to keep airborne until 00:40.
Air Force Gen Francisco Torres said that the search for the plane had “begun immediately” after it had failed to arrive at the military base in Antarctica. Eight planes and four ships are taking part in the search operation. An initial overflight of the area where communication was lost failed to yield any sign of the missing plane. Rescuers are currently searching inside a 60-mile radius from the last point of contact.
The future of Antarctica has been discussed at important Prague conference. For the first time in history, Prague is hosting the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), the annual conference focused on environmental conservation, the impact of tourism and research cooperation on the White Continent.
The event was attended by representatives of 29 countries, which are jointly tasked with taking care of Antarctica.
There are several conditions that have to be fulfilled to obtain a so-called consultative status: One of them is sustainable and high-quality Antarctic research; Czech Republic has been running for 13 years already, the Johann Gregor Mendel Station (WAP CZE-NEW) in Antarctica, and it has a valuable and sustainable national, it has asked (via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for the consultative status, which was granted to the country in 2014.”
Prague Declaration “The Prague declaration is to be issued on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctica Treaty Signing. So the states will be confirming their assignment to the original treaty and expressing their will to maintain Antarctica for peace and science.”
What is the value of the Antarctic ecosystem in the age of global environmental change?
-It is absolutely unique. Antarctica, with its location around the South Pole, plays a crucial role in the global climate system. The white color of the Antarctic continent reflects the energy of the Sun, especially during the Austral summer. So it functions like a giant cooler for the whole globe. This is why it is so important to protect it.- said Pavel Kapler, manager of the CzechJohann Gregor Mendel Station (WAP CZE-NEW) shown on the pic above.
Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in Kochi, India, did select two young researchers to participate in the 39th Indian-Antarctic Science Exploration.
Manoj Mani of the electronics department and Amal Joy, department of atmospheric sciences, have been selected to participate in the exploration program which will be organized during December-February.
As part of the exploration, the duo will review the data collected by the Movable Atmospheric Radar (MARA), located at MaitriStation (WAP IND-Ø3), the Indian scientific site in Antarctica (picture aside).
Dr. K Satheeshan, head, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, is the Principal Investigator of ‘Mara’, the Swedish radar which was handed over to Cusat for upkeep and maintenance on the basis of a tripartite MoU between Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Goa-Antarctic Marine Research Center and Cusat signed in 2017.
Sixty years ago, twelve nations agreed to set aside Antarctica “for peaceful purposes only”, as a scientific preserve for “the progress of all mankind”, met in Washington, D.C. to sign an unprecedented document: the Antarctic Treaty. The original signatories were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) .
The year was 1959 and the end of the International Geophysical Year had seen research in Antarctica take giant leaps forward. Scientists from all over the world were making incredible discoveries in what was a largely unexplored environment. But after some saw the potential for conflict between nations who were making territorial claims to parts of the continent, the Antarctic Treaty was negotiated and signed on the 1st of December 1959 and enshrines Antarctica as a place of peace, science and international cooperation. Today 54 nations are party to the Treaty.
Antarctic nations around the world are today marking the 60th Anniversary of one of the world’s most successful international agreements, the Antarctic Treaty.
RRS Ernest Shackleton leased for twenty years by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has returned to her owners, Norwegian shipping Company G.C. Rieber Shipping on 30 April 2019.
In May 2019 the I/B was purchased by the Italian National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (OGS), thanks to a grant from the MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research), to be used as a research vessel and logistical support in Antarctica. So I/B Enest Shackleton, has been renamed as R/V Laura Bassi, heir of the old R/V OGS Explora and R/V Italica.
Oceanographic vessel R/V Laura Bass, will be the leading actress of the Italian research programs at the poles for the next twenty years,.after the change of property from BAS to the Italian OGS, and from now and ahead will be used for scientific activity and logistical support for Italian Antarctic explorations.
We do not have information so far, of any Ham radio activity from onboard.
Antarctica’s western ice sheet is in danger of collapsing, but scientists may have an unusual solution: blasting trillions of tons of artificial snow across glaciers with snow cannons.
Spraying this artificial blizzard into the coastal area around Thwaites and Pine Islandglaciers could stabilize the failing West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), reducing ice loss that could drive potentially catastrophic sea level rise, new research finds.
But as intriguing as that extreme solution may sound, there would be considerable drawbacks; the effort would be prohibitively expensive and could harm sensitive ocean ecosystems, the researchers reported
In a new study published in the journal Biological Conservation, an international team of researchers recommends the need for additional measures to protect and conserve one of the most iconic Antarctic species – the emperor penguin (Aptenodyptes forsteri).
The researchers reviewed over 150 studies on the species and its environment as well as its behavior and character in relation to its breeding biology. Current climate change projections indicate that rising temperatures and changing wind patterns will impact negatively the sea ice on which emperor penguins breed; and some studies indicate that emperor populations will decrease by more than 50% over the current century. The researchers therefore recommend that the IUCN status for the species be escalated to ‘vulnerable‘; the species is currently listed as ‘near threatened‘ on the IUCN Red List. They conclude that improvements in climate change forecasting in relation to impacts on Antarctic wildlife would be beneficial, and recommend that the emperor penguin should be listed by the Antarctic Treaty as a Specially Protected Species. More info at:https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-10/bas-srs100819.php
A multinational effort to create giant marine sanctuaries around Antarctica to counter climate change and protect fragile ocean ecosystems has failed for an eighth straight year.
Opposition from China and Russia torpedoed the proposal at the annual meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), a consortium of 25 nations plus the European Union, sources familiar with the closed-door discussions told AFP. Beijing and Moscow have been key in blocking the scheme since it was first floated by Australia, France and the EU in 2010 before being scaled down in 2017 in an attempt to win greater support.
The meeting in the Australian city of Hobart, which ended late Friday, considered proposals to create conservation parks in three key areas off Antarctica covering a total of some three million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).
The areas are home to penguins, seals, toothfish, whales and huge numbers of krill , a staple food for many species. The series of proposed marine protected areas (MPAs) would protect that marine life and crucially allow migration between areas for breeding and foraging.
Five people have beaten off competition from more than 200 people to run the UK’s most remote post office in Antarctica. The team will man the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Post Office at Port Lockroy for four months.
The first permanent British Base to be established on the Antarctic Peninsula, it has been run as a museum and Post Office for tourists since 2006.
The new postmasters start work in November and return to the UK in March. Each year, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which is based in Cambridge, advertises for a new intake of seasonal postal workers.
Hundreds apply despite there being no running water or mains electricity and the job involving working in sub-zero temperatures 11,000 miles away from home.
As well as running the office, museum and shop, the chosen team monitors the island’s resident gentoo penguin population.
Several brooms are sent to the team each year to clean the penguin droppings outside the building – which the trust admits would otherwise look like “a penguin toilet”.
François F8DVD informs that at the beginning of 2020, he will use 2 special calls relating to Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic activities as follow:
TM7ØTAAF (WAP-3Ø1) from 12 to 26 January 2020 . That call will commemorate 7Øth anniversary of first ham radio contacts with French Southern and Antarctic Territories in early 1950 (it was with Saint Paul Amsterdam island, Kerguelen island and Adelie Land)
TM17AAW (WAP-3Ø2) from 3 to 17 February joining the 17th Antarctic Activity Week.
HI folks, due to an hacker attack, WAP website crashed a week ago! We desperately had to work hard to recover the whole WAP archive , including Galleries and the huge amount of news and information hosted on this site. Personally I would never have been able to recover all the material and the first reaction was to quit. It is painful to see how an hacker can destroy years of work and, above all, vandalize a non-profit site, born only to promote love and passion for a continent, Antarctica, which deserves our deepest respect! Thanks to Gianluigi IZ8EWB, a young engineer who have carried on hours and hours of work, WAP website is again online.
We would never be grateful enough to Gianluigi (pic aside: IZ8EWB Gianluigi to the right and IK2IWU in the left) for the tremendous work done. Thanks so much Gianluigi, you’re simply GREAT!
Hams from Italy and few coming from neighboring European Countries have joined the 18th DCI Meeting (Italian Castles), IFFA (Flora and Fauna) and 16th Worldwide Antarctic Program (WAP).
The event has been held last 20-22 of September, in the magic location of Vicoforte-Mondovì a very famous historical site in North West Italy .
As usual, the organization was well managed by the group of ARI-Mondovì (Italian Amateur Radio Association) with several speakers.
Thanks to Max IK1GPG and Betty IKQFM for having carried on this heavy commitment while Gianni I1HYW was busy in another task. Thanks everyone WW for keeping the Antarctic passion always alive. Enjoy Antarctica as much as we do!
Gus SmitkaOE3SGA is a real Old Timer and for long time a keen DXer and Antarctic Hunter.
Gus has just received QSL cards from Michael DL2OE, when operating from Tierra del Fuego WAP ARG-23 as LU/DL2OE and WAP CHL-13 as CE8/DL2OE (Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Chilean Sector) on last April 2019.
Nice cards and two WAP references for WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Awards. Both QSLs will be shortly loaded on WAP Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic QSL Gallery
Russia’s tall ships are to undertake a round-the-world trip to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Antarctica’s discovery by the Bellingshausen-Lazarev expedition, according to official information from Moscow.
In effect, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by the expedition led by Fabian Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. In honor of this event, plans are underway for the round-the-world sailing of the tall ships Pallada (pic aside to the left), Sedov (pic below to the right) and Krusenstern(pic at the bottom of the page) in 2019-2020.
The south polar expedition consisting of two sloops-of-war, the Vostok, commanded by Fabian Bellingshausen, and the Mirny, commanded by Mikhail Lazarev, left Kronstadt in 1819 and discovered Antarctica on 28 January 1820. In 1821, the ships returned to Kronstadt. They stayed at sea for 751 days and covered over 92,000 km. In addition to Antarctica, the expedition discovered 29 islands and one coral reef. The Russian sailors conducted scientific research, including oceanographic research.
The global tour is planned to start at the end of 2019 when the ships set sail from their respective ports: Pallada from Vladivostok, Sedov from Kronstadt and Krusenstern from Kaliningrad. Thus, the expedition will consist of Sedov and Pallada sailing around the world and Krusenstern taking a transatlantic voyage. Most of the places and ports the ships will call on were discovered by the Russians during their expeditions around the world.
Milestone events during the expedition will be the meetings of the three ships in the Atlantic Ocean on the Ushuaia-Cape Town leg, in the UK South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, with Pallada’s itinerary reaching its nearest point to Antarctica.
Sedov takes off from Kronstadt in December 2019 and will be back in Kaliningrad in December 2020.
Russians are clever guys and wonderful Hams, we’re sure they will carry on this expedition some radio operators as WW Ham Radio world will be please to catch the opportunity to work the ships involved in the round the world trip and eventually some places in Antarctica and Sub-Antarctic sites!
A “Church in Antarctica” as well as any other signs or place of worship in any corners of the Icy Continent are the most sincere examples of faith and genuine places of worship; they deserve to be known.
is officially considered the largest desert in the world, but even in this icy barren landscape, the explorers and scientists braving the harshest of climates, have still found time for religion. What the Polish researchers and technicians have done at Arctowski is really a touch of devotion !
The attached pictures are taken in Arctowski Station (WAP POL-Ø1) by the personnel who are working there. They show in a kind of niche, carved into the rock, a small statue of the holy Madonna, facing the Station buildings. A second bigger one, is sets little lower. Both statues are located in the great rock on which the lighthouse stands out (62°09′28″South 58°27′56″West), and people at Arctowski, call this corner “Chapel”.
About the second (bigger) statue, there is a story associated to it: Around 1980, the staff employed at the station, wanted a sign of religiosity to stop by for a moment of recollection. At that time in Poland, we had a communist regime and the government banned the creation of a space for worship. No way to put a statue on cargo ship that brought the supplies to Arctowski. The workers hid the statue of the Virgin in a deep cargo box and smuggled it out of Polish border. Now both signs of devotion are proudly on the site that Polish staff did choose for them.
Well, we are grateful to Sebastien Gleich SQ1SGB and Margaredth Witczak who did help WAP in searching of worship sites in Antarctica.
In the area, there is also the grave of Polish wildlife photographer Wlodzimierz Puchalski, surmounted by an iron cross, stands on a hill to the south of the station. Puchalski died on 19 January 1979 in the course of filming a nature documentary in the vicinity of the station. The location of the grave and cross has been designated a Historic site or Monument (HSM 51), following a proposal by Poland to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting
Norbert Maibaum (DL SWL), from Bonn, Germany is a very active Antarctic Chaser.
Recently I did send an historical QSL card to be add to the WAP QSL Gallery; Norbert says: -Perhaps I can provide you an addition to your impressive list; LU5ZB was QRV in 1951 from the Destacamento Naval Melchior, WAP ARG-13-
TNX Norbert Maibaum (DL SWL)
Antarctic Historical QSL Gallery is loaded on WAP QSL Gallery and collects QSLs for contacts from the very beginning Antarctic seasons by Ham radio operators, up to 1960.
LU5ZB, QRV in 1951 from Melchior Base is now loaded in WAP QSL Gallery; check Ancient Historical QSL and or Argentina’s album.
Enjoy surfing the WAP QSL Gallery areal piece of Ham radio history from Antarctica
From Physicists to Geologists, meet 6 amazing Antarctic Women of India, cut off from civilization, these scientists spend months studying everything from the history of super-continents to bacteria in glaciers, and have fun while at it!
Bracing herself against the chilly katabatic winds, Dr Mayuri Pandey pulled out her polar gloves to jot down notes about the rock samples she had just collected. The cold bit into her fingers, sending a shiver down her spine, but she didn’t mind. She was loving every moment out in the icy coast of East Antarctica. It was her dream come true.
Dr Mayuri, a geologist at Banaras Hindu University, was fascinated with Antarctica right from when she was a teenager. As a first step towards realising her ambitions of visiting the polar continent, she took up a PhD in Antarctic geology at Delhi University.
But it wasn’t until towards the end of her doctoral research that she stumbled upon an opportunity to be part of the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.
Climate change and the loss of ice in the West Antarctic is a direct result of human activity mixed with natural weather cycles, a new study has shockingly claimed.
Climate researchers from the UK and the US believe they have the “first evidence” linking humans to climate change, global warming and Antarctic ice melt. For decades, scientists have attributed some Antarctic ice loss to periodic winds and warming ocean waters. But a study led by researchers from the British Antarctic Survey has analyzed how the impacts of man-made global warming are affecting glaciers in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The study’s dire findings were published on August 12 in the journal Nature Geosciences.
On Saturday, July 27, 2019 Radio Club of Chile, through its Radio Amateur Emergency Service together with the Amateur Radio Circle of the Army Telecommunications School, set a test in the field, to evaluate response capabilities in case of Emergency. They did install stations Emergency communications and test transmissions in HF, VHF, UHF with its repeaters and Digital voice systems in DMR, managing to communicate with more than a hundred stations.
It should be remembered that Chile is one of the countries in the world where the role of radio amateurs who have already demonstrated their good work during earthquakes and other emergency situations, is most valued; nevertheless the emergency practice can be exported in Antarctica as well where the situation is sometimes worse than in the Continent!
Being an Antarctic veteran, Mario Reyne CE3BFE was among the team!
TNX CE3BFE (Last picture here on the right show Mario CE3BFE in the shack of R1ANF with Oleg Sakharov at Bellingshausen Station)
A cooperation agreement between the Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute has been signed at the University of Lisbon. The occasion was the tenth anniversary of the start of Bulgarian-Portuguese studies in Antarctica and the establishment of Portugal’s National Polar Program.
Although the Polar Regions are far from Portugal, their dynamics affect the entire Planet. Portugal aims at benefiting of the excellent conditions of the Polar Regions as vantage points for conducting research in the frontiers of science, with strong international cooperation and excellent conditions for technological development and cutting-edge research.
International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008’s event was the starting point to establish the foundations for a Portuguese Polar Program, a task promoted by the Portuguese Polar science community.
In 2007, the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) implemented the Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) and funded research projects on atmospheric physics, cryosphere and polar biology, in the sub-Antarctic and the Antarctic.
The Portuguese Polar Program (PROPOLAR) working in close connection with the Polar Office from FCT, is the organization coordinating the Portuguese Polar campaigns. Since Portugal has no permanent infrastructure in the Polar Regions, research is based on international cooperation and on the management and sharing of an Antarctic flight offered to partner programs. In the past five years, PROPOLAR has funded 49 research projects, provided access of 22 Portuguese scientists per year to the Polar Regions, and supported and managed 10 Antarctic flights, ensuring transport for 429 passengers and cooperating with 7 national polar programs.
Maybe one day we can enjoy some HF contacts operating from Portuguese Hams from Antarctica … who knows?
Mobile networks have been assisting scientists with Antarctic research.
Scientists have been studying giant holes of open water in Antarctic ice, called polynyas, in the Weddell Sea. A team from the University of Washington has been assisted with robots and seals with antennas attached to their heads.
The robots and seals have used mobile networks to send data back to the scientists. TNX Bhagwati VU3BPZ
The scientists’ latest findings were published in the journal Nature.
In 1819, the Sailing Vessel San Telmo, commanded by Captain Joaquín de Toledo y Parra, was the flagship of a Spanish naval squadron under Brigadier Rosendo Porlier y Asteguieta bound for Callao (Peru) to reinforce colonial forces there fighting the independence movements in Spanish America. Damaged by severe weather in the Drake Passage, south of Cape Horn, it sank in September 1819.
The 644 officers, soldiers, and seamen lost on board the S/V San Telmo may have been the first people to die in Antarctica, as parts of her wreckage were found months later by the early sealers visiting Livingston Island. Indeed, if any of the crew of the San Telmo survived to set foot there, they would have been the first people in history to reach Antarctica.
San Telmo Island off the north coast of Livingston Island is named after the ship.
If someone is going to Cádiz (Spain) this summer, don’t forget to visit the exhibition that recalls the trip of the Sailing Vessel San Telmo, the first ship that could reach Antarctica, and its 644 crew missing members. The exhibition, organized by the Naval Museum of San Fernando is open to the public until next August 31.
The museum is owned by the SpanishMinistry of Defense, and is peripheral to the Naval Museum of Madrid.
Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) is getting old. Antarctica NZ wants a complete replacement; to dom that plan, Antarctica New Zealand must raise $50 million in charitable donations as part of its $250m Scott Base rebuild.
The state agency plans a 10,000 square-metre new base with three interconnected buildings on the same site as the existing base. It will include 100 beds, science labs, meeting spaces, a cafeteria and pub, and a hangar for two helicopters.
Scott Base redevelopment Senior Manager Simon Sheltonsaid the current base was reaching the end of its functional life.
It’s a great emotion to see our great friend Reg Beck VE7IG (SK) on all the 3 lists; Reg was great man, great DXer, professional Radio operator and a good friend, we will keep forever a great recall of him!
Never too late … Let’s once again join the guys in Antarctica in the celebration of Mid Winter!
Our friend and Antarctic veteran Volker Strecke , DL8JDX reports his experience when he did overwintering in Antarctica and wrote to his colleagues who did share that experience at the time: -It is still fascinating that now, after 28 years from our joint overwintering we are still well connected-
Also, Volker recalls his friend Mikhail Fokin RW1AI who was at Novo Base (WAP RUS-Ø8) at the time and who is currently working at the Arctic Research Station Cape Baranov on Severnaya Zemlya.
Kindest regards to the people spending this particular time of the year in Antarctica! Stay healthy. Happy Midwinter Day
Yours, Gabi and Volker Strecke, DL8JDX
Antarctic Overwintering Expeditions:
1.AE Georg Forster 1988-1989 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)
4.AE Georg Forster 1990-1992 Y88POL (WAP DDR-Ø1)
13.AE Neumayer II 1992-1994 DPØGVN (WAP DEU-Ø2)
TNX Volker Strecke, DL8JDX
Mobile networks have been assisting scientists with Antarctic research. Scientists have been studying giant holes of open water in Antarctic ice, called polynyas (see below), in the Weddell Sea. A team from the University of Washington has been assisted with robots and seals with antennas attached to their heads. The robots and seals have used mobile networks to send data back to the scientists.
The scientists’ latest findings were published in the journal Nature https://www.commsmea.com/technology/19729-mobile-networks-helping-with-antarctic-research
A polynya is an area of open water surrounded by sea ice. It is now used as geographical term for an area of unfrozen sea within the ice pack.
It is a loanword from Russian which refers to a natural ice hole, and was adopted in the 19th century by polar explorers to describe navigable portions of the sea.
Located at 74°20’South, 165°08’ East, Edmonson Point is a rounded, largely ice-free point lying below Mount Melbourne along the west side of Wood bay, Victoria land.
It was mapped by the US Geological Survey from surveys and from US Navy air photographs, in the years 1955–63, and was named by the Advisoy Committee on Antarctic names for Larry Edmonson, a satellite geodesy scientist at McMurdo, winter party 1966.
The point has been designated an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA 165) because of its terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem. The volcanic lithology and substrates are nutrient-enriched by colonies of Adelie penguins and south polar skuas. The site contains a diverse range of freshwater habitats ,terrestrial vegetation and invertebrates are abundant. Weddell seals breed on the adjacent sea ice.
In December 1985, during the first Italian Antarctic expedition, the Italian party placed the first Italian remote camp (few tents) over the hills overlooking the Terra Nova Bay, looking for the best place to build a new station (named after “Mario Zucchelli” WAP ITA-Ø1). The first automatic weather station (AWS) called Eneide was installed at the top of an hill by Andrea Pellegrini; the place was called Campo Meteo.
Ross Island turned green in the weekend! This epic shot of an Aurora Australis captured by the winter Leader Jonny Harrison.
Scott Base, is located at Pram Point, Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island in McMurdo Sound at
77 o 51′ South, 166 o 46′ East; it’s the New Zealand’s only Antarctic Research Station, perches on a low volcanic headland called Pram Point at the Southern End of Ross Island, 3500kms south of Dunedin and 1350 kms from the South Pole.
Actually ZL5A is active from Scott Base WAP NZL-Ø1 just on FT8 mode, no CW no SSB!
Now the news is official: Icebreaker “Laura Bassi”, former “Ernest Shackleton” of the British Antarctic Survey, is the new OGS ship that will work for PNRA to replace the glorious Italica!
A great result for the whole Italian scientific community, and in particular for the one that studies the poles. The National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics – OGS, thanks to a funding received from the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), has purchased the icebreaker “Ernest Shackleton” of the Norwegian Rieber Shipping already used by the British Antarctic Survey.
Laura Bassi, formerly Polar Queen and RRS Ernest Shackleton, is an icebreaking research vessel, primarily a logistics ship used for the resupply of scientific stations in the Antarctic.
The Icebreaker ship, is named in honor of the Italian scientist Laura Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti who, in 1700 became the first woman, Italian physicist and academic.She was the second woman graduate of Italy after the Venetian Elena Lucrezia Cornaro, the first to pursue an academic and scientific career and the first in the world to obtain a university chair. The N/R Laura Bassi now becomes the only Italian oceanographic research vessel capable of operating in polar seas, both in Antarctica and in the Arctic.
Launched in 1995 as MV Polar Queen for GC Rieber Shipping, she was operated in the Antarctic by other national programs. The British Antarctic Survey acquired her on a long-term bareboat charter in August 1999 and renamed her RRS Ernest Shackleton after the Anglo-Irish polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. She replaced RSS Bransfield. Icebreaker ‘Ernest Shackleton’ will return to Antarctic waters one day as ‘Laura Bassi’.
BAS (British Antarctic Survey) did say goodbye to their former workhorse which will now be operated by the Italian National Oceanographic InstituteOGS. BAS is preparing for arrival of RRS Sir David Attenborough