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Solstice to Solstice - From Terra Antarctica to Martian Borealis

by Patrick Woida

June 27, 2008 -
As part of our celebrations this week we had a telecon June 25th to Antarctica with the folks locked in for the winter at the South Pole. The Mars and Earth Solstices (longest/shortest day of the year) were aligned within a few days of each other this week. For the team down under, it was the shortest day of the year, although they have been without any sun at all for quite a while.  In Tucson and Arctic of Mars, we've just had our longest.

About 30 of us were here and the whole staff at the pole were conferenced in.  I put together a slide show for them of the exciting images and gave a narrative of what was happening on Mars. They can't get mail until November, but at least they can get email and phone calls :-)

In addition to other images in hand, we had taken a special picture just for them as seen today on our Phoenix gallery page.  They celebrated the winter solstice there, while we had the summer solstice on Mars. We have dedicated that image to the South Pole team. An image of the southern shadow of SSI and MET mast like a sundial looking south at noon.

They had also sent us a slide show of spectacular auroras and their telescope, facilities, and team mates.  We had a long exchange of questions between Martians and Polarites.  Hoping we brought a little sunshine to those brave explorers off at the most remote place on this world.

The Mark Lemmon Happy Solstice Image is in our gallery and carries the following dedication by Carla Bitter and Dr. Miles Smith, an Antarctic veteran and Phoenix team member

The Phoenix Team is signing a copy of the picture that we'll send them in fall after they have thawed out enough to get snail mail again.

Planet to Planet & Pole to Pole