It’s a sunny McMurdo Sunday and a brisk walk up Observation Hill is in order after our 10am brunch. All Raytheon employees here work six day weeks, 9 hours a day so Sundays are precious–especially ones when the wind doesn’t blow. We’ve just passed the Spring equinox and are gaining about 2 hours of light a week. “Ob Hill” is about 700 feet above the base and an easy 1/2 hour hike from our dining hall. This is the first day we don’t have to check out at the firehouse for such a climb. As I climb upward, Mt. Erebus can be seen about 20 miles north of us with a beautiful plume drifting to the SW. It is in a state of continuous low grade eruption and can be seen here.
Looking the other direction, the shadow of Observation Hill stretches out toward Black Island. The Ice Road takes one to Pegasus Field where the majority of the main body will land.
Nacreous Clouds are a sign of pollution–these are about 25 km high and are the next best thing after the Aurora Australis.