Valery Sushkow  RW3GW/RMØL, Honorary President of RRC, awarded  with a Medal

Valery Sushkov  (RW3GW/RMØL) Honorary President of the Russian Robinson Club, is a great Expeditionner with several activities in Antarctica and in the Arctic.

I had a plesure to meet Valery RW3GW and his brother Albert RV3GW  about 30 years ago when,  both were young island chasers  and we became good friends!

Recently, on January 17, 2022, the Moscow office of the Law and Order-Shield Foundation did award the explorer-traveler  Valery Sushkov (RW3GW-RMØL) with a commemorative Medal  In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian navigators F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev on the sloops Vostok and Mirny.

The award was presented to Valery Sushkov RMØL by the head of the organizing committee of the project “Russian Antarctica. History in continuation” Alexander Ilyin.

Earlier in 1999-2000,  Valery Sushkov was a member of the International Complex Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole (CE9/R3CA, R3RRC/ANT), a participant and organizer of more than 100 different expeditions, and in 2021 he was awarded the Geographical Oscar in the nomination “Travel & Expedition” for the Pacific Historical and Geographical Expedition “Marine Heritage of Primorsky Kray” and the postal experiment POSTVENTURE postventure.ru.

The medal was minted specifically for the round-the-world expedition of sailboats of Rosrybolovstvo by order of the Presidential Grants Fund and the non-profit partnership for promoting the development of cinema and tourism Kit. The obverse of the medal exactly copies the original, made by order of Emperor Alexander I for the expedition teams of Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. On the reverse is a dedication to the circumnavigation of the sailing ships Kruzenshtern, Sedov and Pallada.

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WAP expresses all the admiration and complacency for the important acknowledgments to his friend Valery Sushkov who,  with his many DX-peditions has given to the Radioamateurs from all over the World , the thrill of having logged rare spots,  both in Antarctica and in the Arctic!

TNX Oleg Latyshev UA6HPR/UA6GG @ DX Trophy Awards Group

Antarctic attractions: Six landmarks in Christchurch, NZ

An interesting view of the six landmarks  have been published on Newstalk ZB, by Thomas Bywater, NZ Herald.
Captain Scott’s Hut, Robert Falcon Scott Memorial, The last sled dog statue,
are just some of the so many interesting features that characterize this important center which represents the bridge to the Icy Continent.

Just pay a visit to Antarctic attractions: Six landmarks in Christchurch (newstalkzb.co.nz) to get introduced and open your door to a place that represents one of the only five cities in the world with direct travel links to AntarcticaChristchurch as home to the Antarctic Explorer’s hub.

Thanks and credit to New Zealand Herald.

Knowing the Antarctic Domes

What are the “Domes” ?

They are very flat snow summits across the Antarctic High plateau. From what I know, they’ve been named more or less according to their altitude while being discovered by the first pilots to fly airplanes across the continent in the 50s.

There are several  “Domes” in Antarctica as shown on the Map:

Dome A, Dome B (aka Ridge B), 200 km upstream of the Vostok ice core),  Dome C, Talos Dome, Titan Dome, an unnamed ice Dome located near to South Pole and Dome Fuji

 

Dome A (aka Dome Argus)

Dome Argus at 80°22′ South77°22′ East,  has a surface elevation of 4,093 m. It is the highest place in East Antarctica and also one of the least-known places on the globe. An automatic weather station provides data from this remote site.

Dome Argus lies near one end of a ridge about 60 km long and 10 km wide. The ice there is more than 3,000 m thick, overlaying the subglacial Gamburtsev Mountains.
At Dome A, an  Automatic weather station (AWS) was set up as part of anAustralian-Chinese collaboration in January 2005. No ground-based scientific investigation had been made at this site before the arrival of the Chinese over-snow traverse team.

Source: Dome Argus – Australian Antarctic Program (antarctica.gov.au)

Dome B (aka Ridge B)

3807 m above sea level at , 79.02°South, 93.69°East, Dome B was discovered at a distance of 170 km from the Russian Vostok Station.

Source: First glaciological investigations at Ridge B, central East Antarctica | Antarctic Science | Cambridge Core

Dome C

Dome C, also known as Dome CirceDome Charlie or Dome Concordia, is situated on top of the Antarctic Polar Plateau, the world’s largest frozen desert ever, at an elevation of 3,233 metres (10,607 ft) above sea level, is one of several summits or “Domes” of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Dome C  is the site of the Concordia Research Station (75°06’06” South, 123°23’ 43” East)  jointly operated by France and Italy.

In the 1970s, Dome C was the site of ice core drilling by field teams of several nations. It was called Dome Charlie. In 1992, France decided to build a new station on the Antarctic Plateau. The program was later joined by Italy. In 1996, a French-Italian team established a Summer camp at Dome C. The two main objectives of the camp were the provision of logistical support for the European Project for IceCoring in Antarctica (EPICA) and the construction of a permanent research station. The new all-year facility,Concordia Station, became operational in 2005.
The so called Dome C summer Camp (75°05’59” South, 123°19’ 56” East), about 700 mts from Concordia Station  was never dismantled and actually is used as it was in 1996. This Dome C summer camp, pic aside, before the construction of the two towers of Concordia, was the support base of the first Epica project, then it was the support site for the workers who built Concordia Station. Actually, Dome C summer Camp is just a depot with housing and warehouse. All the scientific equipments are inside the towers of Concordia and inside the shelters scattered around the Base. “Dome C Summer Camp” will be add as WAP MNB-NEW to WAP-WADA Directory.

Most of the cargo coming by traverse from Dumont d’Urville Station, covering 1,200 km in 7 to 12 days depending on weather conditions,  moved to Dome C and  unloaded at the summer camp. Station personnel and light cargo instead arrive by air, using Twin Otter aircraft from DDU or Mario Zucchelli Station at 1200 km.

The Project Epica Beyond  at Little Dome C is about 32 km from Concordia and the site is called Little Dome C-Epica Beyond,  (WAP MNB-NEW).

Dome C North Radar

The radar of the SuperDARN network is  located at 1.4 km from the Franco-Italian base Concordia, at Dome C, i.e. very close to the Antarctic geomagnetic pole, at about 3200 m above sea level. This makes it the highest geomagnetic latitude radar and the highest altitude radar. Its field of view conjugates with those of the McMurdo radar and the just installed South Pole radar.’

Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radar installed at the Concordia Station in Antarctica and denominated Dome C North (DCN) saw the first light. SuperDARN is an international network of HF radars that observe the effects produced in the ionosphere by the chain of phenomena taking place in the Earth’s space environment. DCN and its companion radar Dome C East (DCE) are positioned nearby the southern geomagnetic pole with their Field of View extending towards the auroral latitudes. Here we present the analysis of the first year of observations as a function of the interplanetary conditions.

Source: Dome C North radar, a new radar of the SuperDARN network: the first year of observations. – NASA/ADS (harvard.edu)

and: SuperDARN radar now operating at Dome C in Antarctica!

Talos Dome

Talos Dome is an ice dome on the edge of the East Antarctic plateau; because accumulation is higher here than in other domes of East Antarctica, the ice preserves a good geochemical and palaeoclimatic record. A new map of the Talos Dome area locates the dome summit elevation (2318.5m)  using the global positioning system (GPS) (72˚47’ 14’’South, 159˚04’ 2’’ East).
Source : Geophysical survey at Talos Dome, East Antarctica: the search for a new deep-drilling site | Annals of Glaciology | Cambridge Core

and Dr. Jérôme CHAPPELLAZ – Some of my pictures taken during scientific field expeditions (jerome-chappellaz.com)

Titan Dome

Based on sparse data, Titan Dome has been identified as having a higher probability of containing ice that would capture the middle Pleistocene transition (1.25 to 0.7 Ma). New aerogeophysical observations (radar and laser altimetry) collected over Titan Dome, located about 200 km from the South Pole within the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, were used to characterize the region (e.g., geometry, internal structure, bed reflectivity, and flow history) and assess its suitability as a paleoclimate ice core site.

Source: TC – Aerogeophysical characterization of Titan Dome, East Antarctica, and potential as an ice core target (copernicus.org)

Dome Fuji (aka Dome F)

Dome Fuji also called Dome F or Valkyrie Dome is an ice dome rising to about 3,810 m (12,500 ft) above sea level in the eastern part of Queen Maud Land (77°30’South, 37°30’ East).

Dome F it’s the second-highest summit or ice dome of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet . Dome F is the site of Dome Fuji Station, a research station operated by Japan

Located in the eastern part of Queen Maud Land, Dome Fuji is a zone of ice that characterizes it as a special place, with more than 720,000 years of history recorded in its ice. Japan was encouraged to install a scientific base, Dome Fuji Base, despite the complexity of its supply and maintenance.

DOME FUJI: 720,000 YEARS OF HISTORY IN ICE – Inuit WindSled (greenland.net)

The first woman of colour to complete a solo unsupported trek to the South Pole

Indian origin British Sikh army officer Harpreet Chandi, a 32 years old,  has become the first woman of color to complete a solo expedition to the South Pole.

Chandi began her expedition on November 7, 2021, flying to Chile and then embarking from Antarctica’s Hercules Inlet. Along the way, she hauled a sled weighing 90 kilograms (nearly 200 pounds) holding kit, fuel and food to last for roughly 45 days.

Chandi, who adopted the nickname “Polar Preet” for her blog and fundraising efforts, spent two and a half years preparing for the grueling expedition.

She underwent crevasse training in the French Alps, trekked across Iceland’s Langjökull Glacier and endured 27 days on the ice cap in Greenland — not to mention the months she spent dragging a heavy tire behind her back home in England, to simulate pulling a sled.

Preet Chandi completed the 700 mile trek in 40 days.

Read more at: British Sikh Army officer makes history with solo climb to South Pole : The Tribune India

Princess Elizabeth Antarctic Station: More than half of all crew  caught Coronavirus

According to a report, 16 of 25 workers at the Belgian  Princess Elizabeth Station (WAP BEL-Ø2) in Antarctica  have tested positive for COVID.

The first positive case was identified on 14 December among members of the  Team who had arrived at the facility a week earlier after travelling from South Africa. Two other members of the travelling party then tested positive. All three were evacuated on 23 December, but more workers continued to come down with COVID.

All of the team members have received two vaccine doses and none of those who have the virus are experiencing severe symptoms. The station has two emergency doctors on site, equipment to treat people who develop severe symptoms and the ability to analyse PCR tests.

All residents of the station were offered the opportunity to leave on a scheduled flight on January 12. However, they all expressed their wish to stay and continue their work.

Source: Crew at remote Antarctic polar ice station catch Covid-19 | Daily Mail Online

More at: COVID-19: Antarctica research station battling coronavirus outbreak | World News | Sky News

Happy New Year

Another year has gone with poor propagation, just few DX on our Log and … too many troubles all around. Covid hit hard everywhere and we all went through a year of anxiety and fear.

New year is coming, let’s turn the page , be so busy loving your life that you don’t have time for hate, regret, or worry, but take a good care of you.

We hope you realize that every day is a fresh start for all of us. That every sunrise is a new chapter in our life waiting to be written….

..
Happy 2022 by WAP Staff. 

Enjoy Antarctica as much as we do!

We’re about Christmas time …

WAP Staff wish all our friends, readers and followers  the very best wishes for  this year’s Christmas.
HF propagation  is not at his best shape  so we must listen carefully on air and the magic Christmas may bring  to everyone in Antarctica our warmest wishes.
 
Christmas it’s the one day of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.
 
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, С Рождеством, Joyeux Noël, Frohe Weihnachten, क्रिसमस की बधाई , 聖誕節快樂 , Buon Natale

 Click “Auguri 2021” here below and you get our warmest  Christmas thought    Auguri-2021-by-gianni-varetto

 

Merry Christmas, Best of Season’s Greetings to you all, and your families.

God bless you.

Antarctica: Scientists discover a bacterial species with promising anti-melanoma properties

Within an Antarctic sea squirt, scientists discover a bacterial species with promising anti-melanoma properties. ScienceDaily has secently pubblish an interesting item about a study done by Desert Research Institute:  New study brings important advances for Antarctic science and natural products chemistry
There are few places farther from your medicine cabinet than the tissues of an ascidian, or “sea squirt,” on the icy Antarctic sea floor,  but this is precisely where scientists are looking to find a new treatment for melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer.

In a new paper that was published dec. 1st 2021 in mSphere, a research team from DRI, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the University of South Florida (USF) made strides toward their goal, successfully tracing a naturally-produced melanoma-fighting compound called “palmerolide A” to its source: a microbe that resides within Synoicum adareanum, a species of ascidian common to the waters of Antarctica’s Anvers Island archipelago.

Pubblished last december 1st  on   ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

When did Antarctica become a continent?

Antarctica, the fifth-largest continent, is commonly known for penguins, massive calving ice shelves and failed exploratory expeditions.
But this frozen swath on the bottom of the world wasn’t always so isolated; it was once part of a larger supercontinent. So when did it become its own continent?

Today, Antarctica is the largest block of ice on Earth, covering more than 5.4 million square miles (14 million square kilometers). Hidden beneath the ice, the rocks of Antarctica reveal the dynamic history of the continent.

Antarctica is a continent just like any other that has a wide variety of landscapes (mountain ranges, valleys and plains) all shaped by its geologic history,” said Libby Ives, a doctoral candidate in geosciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “Much of this geologic history remains a mystery because less than 1% of the continent has rocks exposed that could help us tell this story”.

Read more at: https://www.livescience.com/when-did-antarctica-become-continent

Over 100 volcanoes scattered across Antarctica

ANTARCTICA is home to a number of volcanoes that are hidden beneath its icy surface, with some scientists suggesting that an eruption could cause global sea levels to rise.

Believe it or not, over 100 volcanoes are scattered across Antarctica. At the moment, there are only two active volcanoes in Antarctica: Mount Erebus and Deception Island.

While scientists who work in and study Antarctica say that the volcanoes are unlikely to pose any real threat anytime soon, some have suggested that their eruption could have a knock-on effect around the world.

Thanks and credit to: Antarctica volcano warning after scientists suggest eruption could cause ‘sea level rise’ | Science | News | Express.co.uk

See an interesting video about Mount Erebus one of the active volcanoes in AntarcticaCredit  PBS Terra

Australia’s Antarctic aerodrome cancelled

The Australian government has cancelled the proposed aerodrome near Davis Sation  (WAP AUS-Ø3) in the Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT), emphasising environmental concerns but probably more because of cost and engineering difficulties. The government is likely to instead announce more remote monitoring, mapping and collation of digital information on Antarctica to bolster Australian science and our territorial claim, as recommended in a recent review of Antarctic science.

The decision to abandon the aerodrome plan means Australia is giving up an opportunity to increase its influence in Antarctic forums, boost science and expand access to the continent. That loss would be greater if China, with or without Russia, were to build on the site Australia has given up, which is one of the largest ice-free areas on the continent. Under the Antarctic Treaty, which effectively “freezes” territorial claims, Australia can’t stop other states building in the AAT.

Read more at:  https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/opportunity-lost-australia-s-antarctic-aerodrome-cancelled

Penguin swam from Antarctica to New Zealand, potentially by accident

An Adélie penguin that washed up on a rocky New Zealand beach — nearly 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) from its home in Antarctica — last week, has been released back into the wild, experts say.

Nicknamed “Pingu” by locals, after the claymation children’s cartoon, the disoriented bird was found waddling around the beach at Birdling Flat on Nov. 10 and was swiftly taken to the Christchurch Penguin Rehabilitation for treatment, according to NBC News.

New Zealand’s Kaikoura Wildlife Hospital indicated in a Facebook post that Pingu was “underweight and dehydrated,” but that the young penguin, which rehabbers determined to be between 1 and 2 years old, was recovering strength on a diet of “fluids and fish smoothies.”

Read more at:  https://www.livescience.com/lost-adelie-penguin-new-zealand

British Sikh Army officer aims to be first woman of color to ski solo to South Pole

The British-born Indian Sikh Army, Captain Preet Chandi, is ready to embark on her 700-mile trek to the South Pole where she will endure temperatures as low as -50C and wind speeds of up to 60mph, while pulling a 90kg sled.

Captain Preet Chandi did embark  November 7 on the long voyage to Antarctica. Once there, she hopes to become the first woman of color to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole. According to the latest UK government report  on diversity in the Armed Forces, Black, Asian and minority ethnic personnel made up 2.7% of officers in the UK Regular Armed Forces as of April 1, 2021. Only 0.1% of personnel who declared their religion were Sikh, the report said.

After graduating and juggling work as a physiotherapist with her Army Reserve commitments, Chandi decided to join the regular Army in 2012. Her military duties have taken her to Nepal and Kenya and, most recently, South Sudan, where she was deployed on a six-month United Nations peacekeeping tour.

Nothing about the expedition sounds easy.

After flying to Chile, she will be dropped at Antarctica’s Hercules Inlet. From there, Chandi will trek solo 700 miles across the ice to the pole, hauling a sled weighing 90 kilograms (nearly 200 pounds) with all her kit, fuel and food for around 45 days.

The sun will never set but temperatures could dip as low as minus 50 Celsius (minus 58 Fahrenheit) with wind chill. Her only contact with the outside world will be a daily check-in with her support team.

Chandi, who has adopted the nickname “Polar Preet” for her blog and fundraising efforts, has spent two and a half years preparing for the grueling expedition.

She’s undergone crevasse training in the French Alps, trekked across Iceland’s Langjökull Glacier and endured 27 days on the ice cap in Greenland — not to mention months spent dragging a heavy tire behind her back home in England, to simulate pulling a sled.

She said: “For this mission, I’m so grateful to have the Army’s support and allowing me to take time away from my day job.

Read more at: https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/news/2021/10/army-officer-to-make-history-on-polar-expedition/

and ‘Polar Preet’: British Sikh Army officer Preet Chandi embarks on solo South Pole expedition | CNN Travel

Did you know about Westarctica’s huge micro-Nation?

Westarctica, formally known as the Grand Duchy of Westarctica and previously known as the Protectorate of Westarctica and the Achaean Territory of Antarctica, is a micronation situated primarily in the western portion of the continent of Antarctica and including all territory south of 60°S latitude and between 90° and 150°W longitude, without exception. It also includes the previously claimed territories of Peter 1st Island (claimed by Norway) and the Balleny Islands (claimed by New Zealand) as well as the colony of Calsahara (See Colony of Calsahara – MicroWiki (micronations.wiki).

In 2001 Travis McHenry laid claim to the largest contiguous portion of the nation by filing a claimant letter with the nine world governments that have also expressed legal claims of ownership to portions of the continent (though none to the sector claimed by McHenry). The territory consists mostly of Marie Byrd Land and a large proportion of Ellsworth Land. It has no year round residents, although seasonal Research Stations are located in the region. The nation of Westarctica was founded through a loophole in the Antarctic Treaty. (Source: Westarctica – Encyclopedia Westarctica )

On November 2, the Westarctica micronation celebrates the twenty years that have passed since the day when the then 21-year-old Travis McHenry decided to found it by claiming an uninhabited territory of over one and a half million square kilometers in West Antarctica. That is five times the surface of Italy, and therefore not so much micronation, even if it is defined and defined in this way as a sovereign project of a few people not recognized by other Countries.

Westarctica micro-Nation is a place where McHenry has never been, however, and does not even intend to visit: the twentieth anniversary will in fact be celebrated by his home in the United States, from which he plans to wave the flag of his micronation, on which he has a cross. white on a blue background, with a white crown in the upper left quadrant.

In some of its features, Westarctica still continues to be a slightly goliardic micronation, as it was largely in its early years.

Read more at: Westarctica’s huge micronation – Il Post (italy24news.com)

EM25VER 25 years of Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1)

Located on the tiny island of Galindez in the Antarctic Circle, the Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1)  is the direct successor to the British Faraday Base, which was first established as a meteorological observatory in 1947.

Today, the Vernadsky station is operated by a rotating staff of a dozen winterers. For about ten months at a time, each winterer endures extreme isolation (there isn’t a town within 1,000 nautical miles!) and sub-zero temperatures, all in the name of scientific progress. When they aren’t busy preparing for expeditions into the Antarctic wilderness, the base’s personnel work year-round to maintain the station and conduct research on everything from penguin populations to the atmospheric effects of ultraviolet radiation.

EM25VER  (WAP-312)  Special event callsign has been issued to  celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Ukrainian Antarctic station “Akademic Vernadsky” in Antarctica.

A special Award will be issue upon request . To get the free  electronic award “25 years of the Ukrainian Antarctic station “Akademic Vernadsky” only one QSO is needed  with EM25VER.

Request  has to be sent by e-mail to  Pavlo UT1KY

Research into decarbonising Antarctic science


A UC research project evaluating the feasibility of hydrogen production in Antarctica could help to reduce carbon emissions in the future by replacing fossil fuels with a zero-carbon alternative.

The research, in collaboration with Antarctica New Zealand and Callaghan Innovation, is looking at how hydrogen could be generated, used and stored at Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1) and various remote field camps to reduce the reliance on carbon-based fuels currently used for transport, cooking and heating.

Currently Antarctica New Zealand uses fossil fuels for transport to and operation of remote field camps but wants to investigate the feasibility of generating and using hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Turning excess energy from the turbines into hydrogen would help reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels and also transporting those fuels to Antarctica.

“Hydrogen is a step in the right direction,  if not the eventual answer to providing a zero-carbon alternative to fossil fuels in Antarctica.”

Read more at: https://www.miragenews.com/research-into-decarbonising-antarctic-science-664229/

The race for the 6Øth ATS Awards

Hams around the world seem to have discovered the interest in various Awards connected with the th Anniversary of the Antarctic Treaty Signature.

Just take a look at the numbers of Awards issued by the various Countries that have join the initiative, to realize this!

Russia in the lead, followed by Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

We may ask ourself a question: Where does this desire to put an Antarctic diploma in our shack come from?

Surely from the sensitivity of the Amateur Radio population to the issues related to Peace, Scientific research, to the fact that Antarctiva is a place where weapons are banned and … last but not least, the desire of every DXer to log a QSO with the Continent that has always fascinated us, and to which,  the most exciting pages of the South Pole exploration are linked.

In this context, WAP has been protagonist for over 40 years , with its Antarctic Directories , but also withy his commitment and .. why not, with his Diplomas.

Returning to the th ATS (Antarctic Treaty Signature), ARI Sanremo  ARISanremo – Associazione Radioamatori Italiani  … who doesn’t know the wonderful city of Sanremo? … has so far issued over 100 of these Awards!

To the various OMs  of this ARI (Italian Amateur Radio Association) Group,  who deal with the management of these Diplomas (issued free of charge to the Hams WW who request them), certainly we deserve the applause and our Thanks!

South Pole froze over in coldest winter on record

Antarctica’s frigid winter temperatures are in contrast to trends in the rest of the world, which overall recorded its fourth hottest summer.  The South Pole just had its coldest winter on record.

Between April and September, a research station sitting on a high plateau in Antarctica, registered an average temperature of minus 78 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 61 degrees Celsius). That’s the coldest temperature recorded since record keeping began in 1957, and about 4.5 F (2.5 C) lower than the most recent 30-year average, according to “The Washington Post”.

The previous record for the coldest winter was minus 77 F (minus 60.6 C) in 1976, Stefano Di Battista, a journalist wrote on Twitter. The Post learned of this record through Battista, but then confirmed the information with Richard Cullather, a research scientist at NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office.

The frigid winter is likely caused by a strong polar vortex in the stratosphere, the second layer of the planet’s atmosphere from Earth’s surface, according to the Post. “Basically, the winds in the polar stratosphere have been stronger than normal, which is associated with shifting the jet stream toward the pole,” Amy Butler, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA, told the Post. “This keeps the cold air locked up over much of Antarctica.”

Scientists told the Post that the climate in Antarctica is prone to rapid change and that a frigid winter doesn’t mitigate the seriousness of climate change.
Read more at: South Pole froze over in coldest winter on record | Live Science

Dr Dana Bergstrom, won Eureka Prize 2021

Australian Antarctic Division ecologist Dr Dana Bergstrom has won the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.
For 36 years, Dr Bergstrom has championed evidence-based conservation science in biodiversity, biosecurity, and impacts of climate change on ecosystems in Antarctica and on sub-Antarctic islands.
Dr Bergstrom, who received the award at a virtual ceremony tonight, said she is thrilled to be recognised for her scientific career.
«This is such a huge honour and one I never expected to receive for my passion to protect and conserve fragile ecosystems », Dr Bergstrom said.
Dr Bergstrom began her Antarctic career as a Masters student in 1983 and has been south for her research more than 20 times. «To study a place that’s gone through many ice ages and understand how the plants and animals survive will help us predict what might happen to our climate into the future ».   Dr Bergstrom’s work has led to improvements in biosecurity and preventing alien species ‘hitchhiking’ to Antarctica.

“The huge international project, involving 23 nations and tourism operators, identified how invasive species were accidently being taken to Antarctica on ships and planes.”

Read more at:  https://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2021/antarctic-ecologist-wins-eureka-prize/

Thanks and credit to AAD & Australian Antarctic Proogram

Antarctic ice core study, shows black carbon emission begun in the year 1300 and tripling over the next 700 years

While analysing ice core samples taken from James Ross Island in Antarctica, scientists from the British Antarctic Survey noticed something unexpected – the levels of black carbon or soot, began to increase drammatically about 700 years ago..

Black carbon is a part of the fine particulate air pollution that contributes to climate change. It is one of many particles that are emitted by the burning of diesel, coal, or by biomass burning such as forest fires.

The team analysed the ice core taken from James Ross Island and compared it to several others taken from across continental Antarctica. While the ice core from James Ross Island showed a notable increase in black carbon starting in the year 1300 and tripling over the next 700 years, black carbon levels across continental Antarctica stayed relatively stable.

Read more at:  Māori land-burning led to a rise in carbon emissions 700 years ago – BBC Science Focus Magazine

Thanks and credit to: BAS & BCC Science Focus magazine

The 41st Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica is almost ready to start

41st Indian Expedition, will  embark Antarctica in October-November 2021 and return by February-April 2022 while those chosen for winter season duration, will continue their stay in Antarctica to return between December 2022 to March 2023.

National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) is India’s premier R&D institution responsible for the country’s research activities in the Polar and Southern Ocean realms , under the Ministry of Earth Sciences , Government of India.

NCPOR operates two- yearround stations in Antarctica, which are ~3000 km apart.

WAP IND-Ø3MAITRI Research Base (70° 45’58” South, ; 11° 43’56” East) is located in Schirmacher Oasis Central Dronning Maud Land. It is an inland station nearly 100km from the edge of  Lazarev ice shelf (Indian Barrier for Ship)

WAP IND-Ø4- BHARATI Research Base (69°24.41′ South, 76° 11.72′ East) is located in Larsemann Hills along   the Ingrid Christensen Coast, off the Quilty Bay (~ 200 m from the coast).

SHIP BOARD OPERATIONS CapeTown – Bharati – Maitri- Cape Town transect

Rumors say that this year there will be an Ham Radio operator who could be active on HF from at least one of the two Indian  Bases:  MAITRI  or BHARATI Stations.

The worldwide Radio Amateurs community recalls the great activity  done in  the years from 2010 through 2015 by OM Bhagwati Prasad VU3BPZ, Communication Officer at both Bases .

We are grateful to NCPOR if really some of the scientists  or personnel  will be encouraged to operate an Ham radio equipment during the 41st ISEA. We thanks in advance  the Chiefs of the bases for promoting HF tests through the Ham Radio bands in SSB  and/or  CW from Antarctica

COLDEX, The “Center for Oldest Ice Exploration.

The Oregon State University  (USA) will lead a National Science Foundation-funded effort to discover Antarctica‘s oldest ice and learn more about how the Earth’s climate has changed over the past several million years.

The Center for Oldest Ice Exploration, or COLDEX, will be created under a five-year, $25 million Science and Technology Center award announced on Thursday.

The centre will bring together experts from across the US to generate knowledge about the earth’s climate system and share this knowledge to advance efforts to address climate change and its impacts.

“This is fundamental exploration science,” said Ed Brook, a paleoclimatologist in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and the principal investigator for COLDEX.

“What we’re after is to see how the earth behaves when it is warmer than it has been in the last one million years. In order to do that, we have to find and collect ice cores that go back that far.”

The oldest continuous record of Antarctic ice, collected by drilling miles down from the continent’s surface, currently goes back about 800,000 years. The researchers hope to find a continuous record that goes back 1.5 million years, Brook said.
Thanks and Credit to: https://weather.com/en-IN/india/environment/news/2021-09-10-scientists-to-discover-antarctica-oldest-ice

The mysteries of Sea Ice

Dr Ruzica Dadic says there are complicated relationships between Antarctic snow and ice with feedback loops that need to be better understood as climate warms. The mysteries of how snow affects Antarctic sea ice remain largely unknown.

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington  New Zealand researcher Dr. Ruzica Dadic is working to change.

International research in recent years has increasingly delved into the links between snow and ice cover in the Arctic. But the intricate connections between the two in Antarctica, have not been as intensively studied.

A year ago, Dr. Dadic, a senior research fellow in the University’s Te Puna Pātiotio–Antarctic Research Centre, was part of the biggest polar expedition in history.

She was the only scientist from Aotearoa New Zealand invited to join the high-profile MOSAiC programme to the Arctic, which involved hundreds of researchers from 20 Countries.

Read more at:
https://indiaeducationdiary.in/researcher-helps-crack-the-mysteries-of-sea-ice/

More about MOSAIC on the video below

Where is the Southern Ocean?

There is a nice article published on last June 2021 by “Science Focus”.

It explains that there are five oceans now, not four. A marine biologist spells out why that matters …
It’s time to update your maps, because the Earth now has a total of five oceans.

Though accepted by scientists for some time, the Southern Ocean wouldn’t be found on any National Geographic maps – until now.

Cartographers at the National Geographic officially recognised the fifth ocean on World Ocean Day, 8 June 2021. The ‘new’ ocean borders the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which is why geographers had argued for some time as to whether it was in fact unique enough to be classed as a different ocean, or just cold regions of the three ocean

Read more at:  https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/there-are-five-oceans-now-not-four-a-marine-biologist-explains-why-that-matters/

Climate change risk to emperor penguins

British Antarctic Survey scientists have contributed to a new study published today (3 August) which provides valuable new data highlighting how emperor penguins extinction risk is increased due to rapid climate change and an increase in extreme climate events, such as glacial calving and sea ice loss.

The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and co-authored by an international team of scientists, policy experts, ecologists, and climate scientists, provides pivotal research and projections tailored for use by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). 

The study recommends that emperor penguins be listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act and this week, the US Department of Interior/ USFWS submitted that listing recommendation.

“Scientists have a responsibility to make people aware of the need for change through objective evidence” explained lead author Stephanie Jenouvrier. “With the help of a dedicated team, we have put together this paper for the USFWS to provide additional analyses of future projections to help inform policy and protection for the species.”

Source: https://www.miragenews.com/climate-change-risk-to-emperor-penguins-607084/  where you can read lots more.

Memorial Cross at Observation  hill,  McMurdo

Observation Hill is a steep 230 m hill adjacent to McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22) in Antarctica and commonly called “Ob Hill” It is frequently climbed to get good viewing points across the continent. Regular clear skies give excellent visibility. But Observation Hill  is also known for being the site where a Cross was erected as memorial to Robert Falcon Scott and his South Pole Party.

In 1972, the cross was declared as one of the initial Historic Sites and Monuments in Antarctica by the Antarctic Treaty signatories, as HSM-20.

 

Just to breafly retrace the history

After their deaths in early 1912, the last members of Robert Falcon Scott‘s party were found by a search party led by the surgeon Dr. Edward L. Atkinson. The relief party took their photographic film, scientific specimens, and other materials. The bodies of Scott and his men were left in their tent, and later parties could not locate the campsite, since that area had been covered in snow. A century of storms and snow have covered the cairn and tent, which are now encased in the Ross Ice Shelf as it slowly inches towards the Ross Sea. The search party returned to their base camp in McMurdo Sound to await the relief ship.

After it arrived, they worked to build a memorial:  a nine-foot wooden cross, inscribed with the names of the fatal party and the final line of the Alfred Tennyson poem “Ulysses“, which reads “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

On 22 January 1913, after a difficult two-day sledge journey, the cross was erected on the summit of Observation Hill, overlooking the camp and facing out towards the “Barrier”,  the Ross Ice Shelf, on which Scott‘s party had died.

The picture above, shows  New Zealanders from Scott Base (WAP NZL-Ø1)grouped around the  Memorial Cross  during the 51 years commemoration (Season1963-1964)

Thanks and credit to: Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection  Antarctica NZ (recollect.co.nz)

Soviet  Pobeda Station, a jump in the past!

Pobeda Station,  64° 39’ South, 98° 54’ East was a temporary Soviet Research Station opened on May 9th 1960 and closed on August 12 of the same year.  The Soviet Antarctic Expedition was part of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Soviet Committee on Antarctic Research of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

 This “brief life” Research site,  was  very singular!  It was set on  Pobeda Ice Island (original Russian name “Oстров Победы”  aka Victory Island) in the Mawson Sea, about 160 km off the coast of Queen Mary Land, East Antarctca.

Today, only a watch recalls the name of this Research Station which was open for only 90 days on an Ice island, practically an Iceberg!

This “Island”, formed by the running aground of a tabular iceberg, exists periodically,  then disappears. The so called “Island” was 70 km long and 36 km wide, with an area of 1,500 km2.

The Soviet Expedition came across Pobeda in 1960 and renamed it as Victory Island to recall the Soviet victory over the Axis powers in the Great Patriotic War.

Pobeda Ice Island  disappeared sometime in the 1970s, to be replaced by a new berg that calved in 1985. That one also disappeared in 2003 or 2004. Currently there is no ice island at this location.

The ice island is created and vanishes periodically. It is created by the calving of an enormous block of ice fromDenman Glacier, located in the eastern part of Shackleton Ice Shelf. The resulting tabular iceberg drifts northwest until it runs aground upon a shoal north of the ice shelf. The iceberg remains locked in this position there for a decade or more, until has remodeled enough to free itself from the shoal.

WAP does not have evidence of Ham radio activity from this very singular temporary Station.

Concordia Station (WAP MNB-Ø3) Antarctic Noon after Midwinter

A fortnight after the 21 June,  winter solstice in Antarctica, the crew at Concordia Research Station (WAP MNB-Ø3) are slowly welcoming the return of sunlight.

The 12-member crew at Concordia, located at the mountain plateau called Dome C, have spent the last few months in complete darkness: the sun disappeared in May and will not be fully visible again until mid-August.

Confined in extreme conditions, the crew at Concordia – one of three Antarctic stations inhabited all year long – find solace in traditions. Midwinter often includes well wishes from other Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations as well as communal projects. The crew this year brewed their own beer to mark the occasion.

As well as offering around nine months of complete isolation, Concordia’s location at 3233 m altitude means the crew experience chronic hypobaric hypoxia – lack of oxygen in the brain. Temperatures can drop to –80°C in the winter, with a yearly average of –50°C.

As a station set in Earth’s harshest space, Concordia is an ideal stand-in for studying the human psychological and physiological effects of extreme cold, isolation and darkness.

Read more at: Antarctica welcomes the return of sunlight – Samachar Central 

Follow the adventures at Concordia on the Chronicles from Concordia blog.

How is internet in Antarctica? Something might change.

Nestled at the southern tip of Ross Island, just off the Antarctic coast, lies one of the most remote towns in the world. McMurdo Station (WAP USA-22)  is the main U.S. outpost in Antarctica, built on an outcropping of rugged volcanic rock.

McMurdo Station has no permanent residents — just a revolving door of visiting scientists and temporary personnel, some of whom live there for up to a year at a time. At its most populous, typically during the summer, it houses about 1,000 people.

Their only connection to the outside world comes in the form of satellite systems, which provide limited and fragile access to the internet. That means hundreds of people share a slow and intermittent internet connection.

Now, scientists hope to bring Antarctica into the 21st century. They’re pushing for a fiber optic cable — the fastest form of internet technology — that would extend from New Zealand or Australia all the way down to McMurdo Station.

The idea has been floating around for years, according to Peter Neff, a glaciologist at the University of Minnesota. But it’s recently begun to gain traction again.

The National Science Foundation sponsored a three-day workshop last month to examine the value such a cable could bring to Antarctica. The workshop featured speakers from research institutions across the U.S., as well as New Zealand and Australia.

Read more at: https://www.eenews.net/articles/space-has-better-internet-than-antarctica-that-might-change/

Ham radio helping lifelong hobbyists stay mentally fit in old age

Amateur radio is a smart cultural hobby despite the fact that global interest in HF radio is thought to be waning a bit …

It comes with all the benefits of social media but without “any of the downsides”   and one of Australia’s oldest ham radio enthusiasts says it is also the perfect hobby for retirees looking to stay mentally sharp.

West Australian-based Norman Gomm took to Ham radio over forty years ago and now  aged 82 has no intention of signing off just yet.

As one of Australia’s estimated 10,500 licensed ham radio operators, Mr Gomm, also the president of the Bunbury Radio Club.

He says it is rare that a day goes by without him spending at least a couple of hours in his purpose-built ‘ham shack’.

Mr Gomm says Ham radio is the perfect way to stay sharp as a retiree.

“I find it’s very good for me,” Mr Gomm told the ABC amid a dazzling display of flashing lights and crackling radio static.

“I’m 82 years of age and you need to keep your mind working actively all the time,” he said.

“Ham radio requires a lot of cognitive skills and a lot of understanding technology, so I find that’s very good for keeping me active.”

Read the whole article at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-27/ham-radio-helping-older-hobbyists-stay-mentally-fit/9908468?fbclid=IwAR0q4keK8m_zlJ6I7RVNZ–IPJFVCXVqjJJZeBpdFZ391yDKy-feBHQ6F7o

NEW Release of WAP-WADA & WAP-WACA Directories

WAP-WACA & WAP-WADA Awards Directories (Release 1.38 of July 1st, 2021) are  online, ready to download.

Release 037 of the IK6CAC program to manage WAP Awards is also available to download .

WAP Antarctic Bulletin nr. 290  issued June 27, 2021  is also on (Check WAP Antarctic Bulletins from the homepage).

For those interested in Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic Lighthouses, the updated Directory is now online (Check WAP Antarctic & Sub Antarctic Light Houses).

From the home page of WAP website, select the window of what item you wish to see and that’s it, or simply click on the item you wish to open, directly from this page and go!

Enjoy Antarctica … we are always on!

73 from IK1QFM Betty, IK1GPG Max, I1HYW Gianni

Antarctic in climate crisis despite Treaty

When the Antarctic Treaty came into effect 60 years ago, its signatories had little idea how successful it would be. World leaders agreed to leave an uninhabited continent twice the size of Australia free from war, weapons and nuclear waste.
At that time, they declared that Southern Polar region, which is 98% ice and does not have an indigenous population, should belong to no Country and instead, be devoted to collaborative science. In the following decades, extra rules to stop companies mining minerals and drilling for oil turned Antarctica into the biggest nature reserve in the world.

Now climate change is undermining that success story. About 90% of the world’s surface fresh water is locked up in the Antarctic Ice Sheet and, as the planet heats up, glaciers whose collapse would deluge coastal cities from New York to Jakarta are melting and growing less stable.

World leaders have pledged to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius this century, but their current policies will heat the world by almost 3 Degree Celcius, according to Germany-based research group Climate Action Tracker. A study published in the journal Nature in May found that a global temperature rise of 3 C would lead to an “abrupt jump” in the pace of Antarctic ice loss that would, in turn, trigger “rapid and unstoppable” sea-level rise.

A second study, published in June in the journal Science Advances, found that an ice shelf that supports the 175,000-square-km (68,000-square-mile) Pine Island Glacier is breaking up into the water faster and faster. The glacier is responsible for more than a quarter of Antarctica’s contribution to global sea level rise and will melt faster if it collapses into warm waters. “If the ice shelf’s rapid retreat continues, it could further destabilise the glacier far sooner than would be expected”  the authors wrote.

Read more at: https://www.dtnext.in/News/World/2021/06/24035915/1302682/Antarctic-in-climate-crisis-despite-treaty.vpf 

June 21-2021, Winter Solstice. Happy “Mid Winter” to the Antarcticians

Happy “Mid Winter”  to the Antarctician!

Monday 21 June, is the winter solstice in the Southern hemisphere. It marks the shortest day of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun travels along its northernmost path in the sky. This marks the astronomical start of summer in the northern half of the globe.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: the June solstice (aka winter solstice) marks the astronomical start of winter, when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky. In Antarctica today is  a great fest, the well known  Midwinter celebration!

… and here below, a video showing how Midwinter is lived in Antartica! It’s a last year (2020) video but sure someone will post one or more  of 2021 as well!

WAP sends greetings to the researches who are wintering over in the Icy Continent!

Gable Island, WAP ARG-23

Gable Island (Isla Gable) is an Argentine island belonging to the Ushuaia Department of Tierra del Fuego Province of, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands in Argentina.

The island is located on the northern side of east-west Beagle Channel less than 300 metres (980 ft) from Tierra del Fuego island and about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from Chilean Navarino Island (WAP CHL-13) . The island has an irregular shape with many shoal banks extending into bays and open channel.

It is located at 54° 54′ South, 67° 29′ West, and as an approximate area of 22 km and its population is 50 inhabitants The islands surface is mostly covered by Magallanic forest.

Arbitration of 1977 (followed the one of 1971) awarded the Gable Islands to Argentina and delimited their adjacent waters, but was declared void by this country, although accepted by Chile.

Finally, the 1984 Treaty of Peace and Friendship definitively recognized Argentine sovereignty over these islands.

Gable and the other surrounbding islands are all comprised in WAP ARG-23

The Fifth Ocean

Update your atlas: Southern Ocean recognised as world’s fifth ocean by Nat Geo cartographers
Earth comprises 71 per cent of water and those familiar with geography know that there are four oceans surrounding the landmass. Four? No, now there are five oceans. The National Geography cartographers have now identified the Southern Ocean as the fifth ocean on the planet.

The development comes on the occasion of World Oceans Day which was marked on June 8. The new ocean has been identified by the National Geography Society which has been making maps since 1915 and had so far recognised the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

Thanks and credit to:  https://www.indiatoday.in/science/story/southern-ocean-recognised-as-world-s-fifth-ocean-by-nat-geo-1812850-2021-06-09

Polar Awards, what a passion!

Recently, Volker, DL8JDX did achieve two new Polar Awards.

The North Pole &  South Pole – DX Trophy (NSP).

Rules and conditions here below:

DX TROPHY AWARDS GROUP gives out the trophy “NORTH & SOUTH POLE TROPHY”

for two-way QSO’s / SWL ‘s at various stations in Antarctica below 66°South and the Arctic above 66° North, for any period of time on any bands.
To get  the trophy, the requirement is:

Arctic:  30 different stations   including at least 20  different islands and 5 nations (e.g.: Russia, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Sweden, USA/Alaska ..) located above 66 degrees

Antarctica: 20 different stations including at least 10 different bases and 5 nations (for example: Russia, China, Argentina, Chile, USA), located above 66 degrees.

For those with connections from the North and South Geographic Poles: (for example: КС4AAA and  RØPOL) there will be a special sticker.

Awards can be requested with different modes:

CW, SSB, DIGI, MIX (CW/SSB), ALL (CW/SSB / DIGI)

Free-form application: CALL – DATE- BAND- MODE-QTH.

Confirmation: QSL or LOTW / Сlublog scans.

The trophy is made of glass 2.5D printing, size 250 x 200 mm.
Information about fee and delivery  and other details can be requested by e-mail at:

mydxtrophy@gmail.com

Another one jut received  by Volker DL8JDX is  the Russian Antarctic Bases Award (RABA), issued by the famous  Russian Robinson Club.

The  Awards program  of RRC (http://www.rdxc.org/rrc/awards_e.htm) foresees  several choices of different and interesting  certificates and plaques  related to the passions of each radio amateur. To get more, check: http://www.rdxc.org/rrc/AWARDS/raba_e.htm

TNX DL8JDX

Heritage Expeditions – MS Hanseatic  former “ Grande Dame”  of Polar Exploration

 is excited to announce the world-renowned Polar exploration vessel formerly known as MS Hanseatic and Society Adventurer will be joining the fleet from May 2022.

Rechristened Heritage Adventurer, this iconic and beloved expedition ship will see Heritage Expeditions forging new ground while taking the experiential exploration as synonymous with to stylish new heights

Here a  Press release that announce the program: «Heritage Adventurer, with its legendary history of Polar exploration firsts and superior ice capabilities, will take centre stage as our new flagship effortlessly adding new levels of comfort and sophistication to the authentic, intimate small group expeditions Heritage Expeditions was founded on.

The vessel’s rechristening to Heritage Adventurer marries the history of this incredible vessel with the legacy of HMS Adventure’s explorations alongside the HMS Resolution during Captain Cook’s second expedition of the Pacific.

Work is about to begin to get the vessel ‘Heritage ready’ and over the coming months we will be working closely with the owners to co-ordinate an overhaul and refurbishment in preparation of Heritage Adventurer joining our fleet.

Built in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration, Heritage Adventurer is 124-metres long, boasts a 1A Super ice class and an impressive history of Polar and remote region exploration.

Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, we plan to operate Heritage Adventurer with a maximum of just 140 guests to create a spacious, comfortable on board experience and continuation of the exceptional, personalised expedition experience Heritage Expeditions is renowned for. While a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition experience.

Our first season with Heritage Adventurer‘s will begin in the Russian Far East, including Wrangel Island, in May 2022, before venturing south through the South Pacific to New Zealand, the Subantarctic Islands and down into the heart of Antarctica, the Ross Sea».

Researchers call for immediate emissions reduction to limit Sea level rise

Scientists from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Te Puna PātiotioAntarctic Research Centre (ARC) have contributed to a major international study that has found sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice sheets could be halved this century if the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to 15°C is met.

But meeting this target, the authors warn, will require deep and immediate emissions cuts.  The study, led by Dr Tamsin Edwards of King’s College London, was published in the science journal Nature. It involved 80 scientists from around the world, including Professor Nicholas Golledge and Associate Professor Brian Anderson, both from the ARC, and Dr Dan Lowry, ARC adjunct research fellow.

The study uses computer models and statistical techniques to make predictions based on a range of socio-economic scenarios. The results will inform the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, which will be published later this year.

The research predicts that if global warming is limited to 1.5°C, rather than the 3°C that global governmental emissions pledges currently commit us to, the contribution to sea level rise from melting ice could be cut from around 25cm to 13cm by 2100. This would greatly reduce the costs and impacts of coastal flooding around the world, including in New Zealand.

The study underlines the importance of making swift and decisive climate action at all scales.
Read more at: https://indiaeducationdiary.in/researchers-call-for-immediate-emissions-reduction-to-limit-sea-level-rise/

Extra-Terrestrial Particles Discovered in Antarctica

Research led by the University of Kent’s School of Physical Sciences has found new evidence of a low-altitude meteoritic touchdown event reaching the Antarctic ice sheet 430,000 years ago.

A research team of international space scientists, led by Dr. Matthias van Ginneken from the School of Physical Sciences‘ Centre for Astronomy and Planetary Science, has found new evidence of a low-altitude meteoritic touchdown event reaching the Antarctic ice sheet 430,000 years ago.

Extra-terrestrial particles (condensation spherules) recovered on the summit of Walnumfjellet (WN) within the Sør Rondane Mountains, Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica, indicate an unusual touchdown event where a jet of melted and vaporized meteoritic material resulting from the atmospheric entry of an asteroid at least 100 m in size reached the surface at high velocity.

This type of explosion caused by a single-asteroid impact is described as intermediate, as it is larger than an airburst, but smaller than an impact cratering event.

Read more at: https://scitechdaily.com/extra-terrestrial-particles-discovered-in-antarctica-reveal-ancient-meteoritic-impact-430000-years-ago/

VU2UR Manohar Arasu is “Silent Key”

Sad news forwarded  by Bhagwati VU3BPZ (8T2BH-AT1ØBPR).

VU2UR Manohar Arasu (82 yrs old) was a Life member of Amateur Radio Society  of India (ARSI) and was the Frequency Monitor for several years filing intrusion reports with the IARU-R3 representing ARSI. He was a well known Amateur radio enthusiast with around 46 years of experience (has been on the air since 1967). VU2UR has won many certificates for being No 1 in India and some for being No 1 in the continent. All in all, he has won more then 1200  certificates and plaques included and recognition from organizations across the globe.

 

VU2UR did join the 3rd WAP Antarctic Activity Week (2006) with his special callsign AT3ANT WAP-Ø21. We keep a great recall of him.

Retired from the Indian Railways in 1997,  VU2UR had settled down in the outskirts of Bangalore City, in Kengeri Satellite Town.

WAP express sincere condolences to his family to bear this loss and bring them comfort. May our prayers ease the pain and  his soul rest in peace.

ON4TX (ex OR4TX) in memory of an Antarctic veteran

Sad news, received yesterday from Ghis ON5NT.

Roger Vanmarcke, ON4TX (ex-OR4TX Antarctica) died of  Covid on April 2nd . He was 82.

Roger did operate  OR4TX from the Belgian King Baudouin Antarctic station (WAP BEL-Ø1) in 1960.

Ghis ON5NT  thinks  that  Roger’s XYL  also died a few days later of Covid.

Several pictures of Roger Vanmarcke can be found at: www.on5jv.com

Pic aside shows Roger ON4TX/OR4TX to the left with ON5NT Ghis
Today, in this sad circumstance, WAP and the Ham community express Roger’s family and friends the most deepest sympathy .

May the earth be light to you Roger.

Up there in the heaven we have another special person that we will carry in our memories.

King Baudouin Base Station (1960-1961) The King Baudouin Base in Antarctica is located approximately at 70 ° 25 ’53 “South and 24 ° 18′ 38” East. Roger ON4TX participated in 1960 (wintering 1960-1961) to the Belgian scientific expedition as electronics engineer and also as a radio operator. The meteorologist ON4TZ dealing more particularly with atmospheric electricity, as well as Roger. ON4KR

Regarding radio equipment, they were: Two Rhombic antennas, one large diamond-shaped 110m side 27m above the ground, while the other Rhombic was used for reception and was located 4 mts from the ground with which duplex with Belgium was commonly done. The transmitter was a Marconi delivering 1Kw equipped with Xtal frequencies and a VFO, also used on the amateur bands. As receivers for AM and CW traffic they used two Collins 51J4 equipped with the famous mechanical filters The 2 reserve receivers were RCA AR88 sometimes used for diversity reception with the two Rhombic antennas, but this on an experimental basis.

Ukrainian polar explorers have been honoured by State Awards

The Hams worldwide, thanks Dr. Pavlo Tarasovych UT1KY, Antarctic veteran for issuing a special Award to the radio amateurs who worked the special callsign EM25VER, issued to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Research Station Akademik Vernadsky (WAP UKR-Ø1) in Antarctica.  Hams wishing to get the Award could write to Pavlo (ut1ky@ukr.net)

Last February 2021, on the day of the 25th  Anniversary of Akademik Vernadsky Station, Ukrainian polar explorers received State Awards from the President Volodymyr Zelensky, who  awarded State decorations to those who made a significant contribution to the development of polar research in Ukraine. In particular, to all the participants of the Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions, who have been conducting year-round research at Akademik Vernadsky Station for 6 years or more.

The award ceremony took place at the President’s Office, last February 6, 2021,  on the day of the 25th  Anniversary of Akademik Vernadsky Station (WAP UKR-Ø1).

«Every great story means, first of all, the people who made it possible. I would like to thank the representatives of the Ukrainian polar community present here, as well as everyone who worked at Akademik Vernadsky Station in different years.

I believe and am convinced that the history of Vernadsky, the history of “Ukrainian Antarctica” will continue and will be successful. I thank our male and female polar explorers for their work, contribution to science and strengthening the authority of Ukraine»,   Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized.

Thanks and credit to: http://uac.gov.ua/en/on-the-day-of-the-25th-anniversary-of-akademik-vernadsky-station-ukrainian-polar-explorers-received-state-awards-from-the-president/

TNX Pavlo UT1KY (aka EM1KY) pics above.

Happy Easter

While the situation is slightly different today, the celebrations will also change in the pandemic. But that does not mean one cannot spread positivity and warmth on this day.

 

WAP Staff wish our companions and friends as well as all the lovers of Antarctica the kind of Easter that touches your heart like a prayer and blesses your life with the gift of amazing grace. 

Best wishes for a joyous Easter!

February 16 to March 7, 2016, M/V N.G. Orion travelled Antarctica

The voyage of the National Geographic Orion from February 16, to March 7, 2016, followed the map counterclockwise. The purpose of the trip was exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula by ship and on land, and commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Earnest Shackleton’s near disastrous voyage to Antarctica and ultimate rescue, 1914 — 1917.

Orion reached 67.2°South along the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship then travelled to Elephant Island where Shackleton and crew arrived by dinghies following the wreck of their ship Endeavour in pack ice. The crew remained there for 137 days while Shackleton and S others sailed 800 miles (1300km) to South Georgia in a dinghy. He and a crew member hiked without maps for 2 days across glaciers to reach Stromness and arranged for rescue of the crew. Remarkably, no one was lost. Our voyagers hiked a long portion of Shackleton’s trek and visited his grave at Grytviken.

Buzz  W3EMD (VP8DPC/MM and C6AMD/MM)said:   «C6AMD/MM was used for our Bahamas registered ship in international waters; VP8DPC/MM was for operation from the ship at South Georgia and the Falklands. Equipment was Elecraft K3. 100W, CW & SSB and 53ft (16M) end fed wire with 1:9 unun. About 300 QSOs world-wide on 15M – 30M were made operating from the ship’s library just below the antenna deck».

Bob Hines K4MZU is now the QSL manager for this operation

M/V Orion is listed on WAP-WACA Directory therefore is valid for WAP Awards

Iceberg A74: German ship squeezes through narrow ice channel

The German Research Vessel Polarstern has made a remarkable circumnavigation of Antarctica’s latest mega-iceberg. It was an opportunity too good to miss for the research icebreaker, which is operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven.

The ship sailed a complete circuit of the 1,290-sq-km (500 sq miles) frozen block, known as A74, at the weekend.

To do so, R/V Polarstern had to navigate the very narrow channel that separates A74 from the Brunt Ice Shelf – the frozen floating platform from which the berg broke two weeks ago. The vessel was already working nearby on a pre-planned expedition, so it was easy enough to divert and conduct some serendipitous science.

The EU’s Sentinel-2 satellite managed to image the ship in the process.

Read more at:  https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56404142

Nicaragua’s flag in Antarctica

Javier Ramírez had only seen penguins on TV. That changed at 34 years old, on January 24, 2021, when he arrived on Deception Island, Antarctica. Upon landing on the frozen continent, some penguins would be the hosts, an image, which added to the sensation of -12 degrees Celsius of ambient temperature, will never forget.

This 34-year-old is the first Nicaraguan at the “Gabriel de Castilla Base” (WAP ESP-Ø2), one of the two Spanish bases located on Decepción Island in the South Shetland Islands Archipelago, in Antarctica. There he saw how the Spanish military placed the flag of Nicaragua on the flagpole, along with that of Spain, a gesture that shocked him and filled him with pride.

Ramírez was part of the XXXIV Spanish Antarctic Campaign along with 17 other people, including soldiers and scientists. The mission, which is scheduled annually during the summer in that area of ​​the world, was coordinated by Dr. Manuel Berrocoso Domínguez, who has visited the continent since the first campaigns and is director of the Astronomy Laboratory of the University of Cádiz, of Spain, the place where the Nicaraguan is doing his doctorate in Computer Engineering.

Thanks and credit to : https://confidencial.com.ni/nacion/

Read the whole report at:  https://confidencial.com.ni/nacion/un-nicaraguense-en-mision-cientifica-en-la-antartida/?fbclid=IwAR0W6_PkGgIJLqqdLgQKGV3HPbl1npOw9NCRKaCRoRdSxhXOQqxH3AkK0KY

New £2 Coin to Commemorate 60th Anniversary of Antarctic Treaty

An agreement was originally signed on December 1, 1959, in Washington by the 12 nations that were active in Antarctic science at the time.
The Treaty came into force on June 23, 1961. It has since been acceded to by many other nations, and there are now 54 Parties to the Treaty.

The entry into force of the Antarctic Treaty is recognized as one of the most successful international agreements, setting an example of peaceful cooperation,  designated as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.

Now, the Pobjoy Mint is delighted to announce the release of a beautiful new £2 coin on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory to commemorate this anniversary.

The coin is offered on behalf of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory, with full recognition of Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty.

The design on the coin features a map of Antarctica with four emperor penguins standing on the land. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

More details at: https://coinweek.com/world-coins/antarctic-treaty-60th-anniversary-commemorated-on-new-2-coin/

1925 Macmillan/Byrd Arctic Vessel WNP-WAP

Sometimes, as in this case, Arctic and Antarctica are joined together in the bound by the invisible wire of radio waves . That WNP-WAP printed on a very old QSL card intrigues me a lot.

WNT-WAP of 1925 is something rare, nothing to do with WAP (Worldwide Antarctic Program) but it is still part of the passion that join the North and South Pole. This is why such an interesting info deserves to be published. The story shown here below, recalls the commitment of men and women as well as of institutions in  exploring, studying and researching the secrets of our immeasurable planet.

We have to thank Mr. Terry Denton (carefreedentons@cox.net) who send us a QSL card which he has from the 1925 expedition.

Terry wrote: «This was in my late father’s collection. He worked in a small radio store in 1925 in Whitesboro, Texas.  The card was addressed to his boss J.C. Bass at 106 Charter Street Whitesboro, Texas.  My father would have been 17 years of age at that time and his Ham activity is summarized as follows: The American Radio Relay League Amateur  5AFD 12/7/1925 to 12/31/1926 (his old QSL card on the right), then  W5AFD 1/8/1932 to 1/7/1933 and W6KQX6 1/7/1946 to 6/7/1951. Later he was N6AHY»

Theo “Ted” Denton was born in 1908 in Whitesboro, Texas.  As a boy, like most of us, he became attracted to radio and what makes it work.  The idea of having his own station empowered him to overcome the lack of any money or materials and he became successfully licensed as 5AFD about 1923.  Like all radio amateurs of the day, he built his own equipment.

By 1928 he updated his exciter to a three stage Meissner design achieving contacts all around the U.S.  His station became well known to locals and he was talked about and bragged about.  As my grandmother relates: “Everyone who was anyone bragged about my Ted”.

By checking N6AHY on QRZ.com you can read all about Theo “Ted” Denton, a real pioneer on Ham radio. It’s always  very nice to recall our colleagues who a century ago really were pioneers.

Arctic Expedition 1925. The card was issued from contact at Etah, Greenland, but based upon the postage stamp it was mailed in Canada.

Here a bit of history: 1925 Macmillan/Byrd Arctic Vessel WNP-WAP  

The objectives supported by the Navy and the National Geographic Society were to determine the full capabilities of radio North of the auroral belt and to explore the Northern reaches by air. In the summer of 1925 the Bowdoin, captained by MacMillan led the Peary, a minesweeper enlisted as transport and captained by Zenith president Eugene F. McDonald, to a bay again near Etah in northern Greenland. Three amphibious aircraft were assembled on site and directed by Richard E. Byrd. Severely limited by weather and mechanical problems, the aircraft only accomplished some seven missions within their limited range, and did not actually fly over the pole. The outstanding accomplishment of the expedition was in the sphere of radio. Utilizing short waves, the expedition was in consistent contact with the outside world throughout the journey, to the delight of the amateurs who were able to work them. The phenomenal success proved to the Navy that short waves were definitely superior to the long and ultra long waves on which the fleets had been relying.

Etah (see pic aside) is an abandoned settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northern Greenland. It was was used in the past as a base camp for several Arctic expeditions, including Knud Rasmussen’s expeditions to the northern coast of Greenland and a starting point of discovery expeditions to the North Pole.

Etah was also the landing site of the last migration of the Inuit from the Canadian Arctic. The village was located on the shores of Foulk Fjord near Reindeer Point. The huts of the former village are still standing. Today, Etah is seldom visited

How many people live in Antarctica?

Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, and windiest continent on earth. So perhaps unsurprisingly, it spent the last 35 million years in relative isolation. People only discovered Antarctica in 1820, and it took another 100 years for people to reach the pole. But,  how many people live in Antarctica now?

Antarctica has no real permanent residents — just Research Stations and Field camps staffed either seasonally or year-round. Yet in the summer season, if the weather is favorable, Antarctica usually hosts up to 5,000 people. When the summer fades into winter, many stations get completely depopulated, and the ones with a permanent mission keep much smaller crews to keep the stations running. During the wintertime, Antarctica’s population goes down to around 1,000 people.

Currently, scientists, staff, and whoever else might happen to be in Antarctica stay in one of 70 even more  Bases (40 of which are year-round). Over 30 nationalities are usually represented on the continent.

More at: https://www.zmescience.com/other/pieces/how-many-people-live-in-antarctica-and-other-things-you-wish-you-knew-about-the-frozen-continent/