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.
SALSA Part II: Drilling Deep
on November 18, 2019 at 10:11 am
Researchers with the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access project, or SALSA, in part are trying to better understand how the West Antarctic ice sheet behaves, and what its future may be in a warming world. But the scientists also want to know what's happening under the ice in an environment […]
SALSA Part I: Scratching the Surface
on November 5, 2019 at 2:14 pm
A team of researchers and drilling engineers recently spent six weeks in West Antarctica carefully drilling through nearly a mile of ice to study Mercer Subglacial Lake. This body of water is buried under an ice stream, and likely hasn't seen the light of day for at least thousands and possibly […]
Plasma Patch Atlas
on September 4, 2019 at 11:21 am
High above the surface of the Earth, flow giant, invisible clouds of charged gas that can degrade radio transmissions, disrupt GPS Signals and play havoc with other communications and navigation systems. But they're not always showing up when scientists predicted. This year geophysicist Alex […]
The Flight of X-Calibur
on July 23, 2019 at 2:25 pm
Antarctica can be a double-edged sword for astronomers: conditions there are some of the best in the world for observing the heavens, but the harshness of the place can be hard on equipment. In December 2018, astronomers who launched the x-ray telescope "X-Calibur" to study neutron stars and black […]
Listening to Rock Music
on July 8, 2019 at 11:45 am
Rocks are cracking up all over Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. Though it may take hundreds of thousands, or even millions of years, the slow but inevitable processes of weathering eventually reduce all rocks into sand or even clay.