First days at McMurdo / by Shaun O'Boyle

Have been in McMurdo 3 nights and days, and it's been a whirlwind of activity, getting oriented in town, meeting people, going to classes, setting up my office space so I can print etc. It's been great so far, although really cold. Yesterday -35 F with wind chill, and that wind really cuts into you if you stay out for a while.  I did a walk to Hut Point, and it was so cold I couldn't do much work, glasses frosted up, not pretty. The weather should moderate here over the next month. Some really interesting projects going on, I flew in with a scientist who is working on the Long Duration Balloon project, where they send up a 400 ft diameter balloon into the circumpolar vortex (high winds that will carry the balloon around Antarctica and return it to within 20-30 miles of the launch site). The balloon goes to 120,000 ft (over 22 miles up), and they use the balloon as a platform for mapping the milky way with telescopes. I'll be going out to photograph their project later in my stay once they get near launch time in early December.

Here are some pics from the cold visit to Hut Point, a walk around town and a drive I did in my truck!



Erebus Volcano from Arrival Heights

McMurdo from Arrival Heights

McMurdo and Observation (Ob) Hill, from Arrival Heights

Hut Point, Scott's Discovery Hut, and in the far distance the Ferrar Glacier. I'll be heading in that direction in a couple weeks when I go to the Dry Valley's.

Scott's Discovery Hut, which I will be photographing in detail soon.

Chapel of the Snows and Mt Discovery in distance

Helo Pad Buildings

The McMurdo mining town architecture and infrastructure