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18 December, 2001

With the flight today cancelled again, I am really starting to worry that returning home for the holidays will be an impossibility. If the flights tomorrow are cancelled, then it is likely that I will be spending an additional week at the South Pole.

The tank appears to be freezing well, so work tonight was very routine. Every two hours, I put on my extreme cold weather gear to take temperature readings from the core of the detector. It is nice to be outside because the air is extremely clear and crisp.

A few days ago, a group of tourists were dropped off 60 miles from the South Pole. Their goal is to ski the last degree to the South Pole, a carefully planned adventure to similate Amundsen's last few days traveling to the pole. I do not know how long it will take the tourists to close in close enough to the pole to make them visible. So, between temperature readings, I climbed atop the roof of the SPASE Shack to scan the horizon. They were no where in site.

The majority of the night was spent anaylzing data from the warm confines of the shack. The research that Bartol Research Institute originally was involved in was studying parcticles emitted by the sun. These parcticles have specific energies that are now easy to detect. However, there are more energetic parcticles hitting the Earth's atmosphere. These parcticles cause extremely energetic showers that cascade downward. No one knows the origin of these parcticles, yet their high energies force some to speculate the parcticles are accelerated by gamma ray bursts, black holes, or supernova explosions.

In order to learn more about these parcticles, a point source needs to be identified. This is one of the goals of the research I am assisting with. By constructing an array of detectors, it is hoped that a point source of these mysterious parcticles can be determined, allowing them to be studyied further.

Biological Data

Saturated Oxygen: 91%

Pulse Rate: 90

Weather Data

Temperature: -22.1 F

Wind Chill: -57.3 F

Solar Shadow Experiment for 12/18/01 Stick Height: 36 inches Shadow Length: 85.5 inches

Sally and "cookie" John, the amazing cooks at the South Pole.

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