These are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. More…
Antarctica : continent around the South Pole; a plateau covered by a great ice cap and mountain peaks area about 5,500,000 square miles (14,300,000 square kilometers) — Webster
Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,000,000 square kilometres (5,400,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft) in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 in) along the coast and far less inland. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F), though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63 °C (−81 °F). Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. — Wikipedia
Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis (“Southern Land”) date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The continent, however, remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation. — Wikipedia
Notebook from Scott of the Antarctic’s ill-fated expedition discovered 100 years later frozen in ice (ABC News)
Century-Old Notebook From Antarctic Expedition Found (Megan Gannon, Discovery, Live Science)
Antarctic Sun - Science News Feed Science news items and articles displayed on the Antarctic Sun web site.
- An Aerial Assessment of Adelie Penguinson November 30, 2020 at 12:12 pm
Flying robots are helping scientists track the population of Adelie Penguins. This past austral summer, researchers flew a small fleet of coordinated unmanned aerial vehicles, or "UAVs," over Cape Crozier, one of the largest Adelie penguin colonies in the world, photographing it in greater detail […]
- Southernmost Telescope Gets an Array of Upgradeson October 12, 2020 at 12:12 pm
One of the telescopes at the bottom of the world is getting a major upgrade. The South Pole's venerable Keck Array is being reconstituted into the more powerful BICEP Array, making it more sensitive and better able to observe the most ancient light in the universe.
- Heavy Cosmic Rays - Part II: The Death and Life...on September 28, 2020 at 12:12 pm
The season before SuperTIGER-II's successful 2019 flight, the payload had an unexpectedly short flight over Antarctica. Brought down after less than a day because of a problem with the balloon carrying it, it landed in a crevasse field 150 miles from McMurdo Station. This could easily have ended in […]
- Heavy Cosmic Rays - Part I: The Flight of...on September 14, 2020 at 12:12 pm
In December 2019, SuperTIGER clawed its way back into the upper atmosphere. The second flight of the SuperTIGER cosmic ray experiment, officially dubbed SuperTIGER-II, flew high above the icy continent for more than a month, collecting data on the high-energy particles that zip through the cosmos.
- Detecting Anomalous Life Swarmson September 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm
The seas around Antarctica are alive, but that life is not evenly distributed everywhere. Vast regions of barren ocean are punctuated by oases of concentrated nutrients that create hotspots of biological activity.