Antarctica: The Triple Crown

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Finally, the age old question has been answered. While looking for the ideal spot for an observatory, scientists “discovered” what is thought to be the coldest, driest, and calmest place on earth. The triple crown of atmospheric phenomenon! Enjoy your trophy, Ridge A.

At 13,294 feet, this spot along Ridge A, sits on the Antarctic Plateau and averages a sweltering minus 94 degrees in the winter. What is even better for the observatory, there is very little turbulence in the air, the condition that makes stars apparently twinkle. With these three conditions, the possibility of besting pictures from the Hubble Telescope may lie at Ridge A.

This got me thinking, how does a regular Joe Schmo like me get to bottom of the world? If you’re not willing to work at one of the science stations, it may be a bit tough. A quick search takes me to flights hovering around $35,000 usd. Ouch. Hope remains, though, because cruises, i.e. icebreakers, seem to be the best option to get to Antarctica. Numerous companies offer trips originating from Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, or Australia. Just don’t forget to pack your parka!

By Jon Wick


About the Author

Jon lives in Butte, Montana, spending most of his time on skis or bikes; sometimes both. He began travel writing while teaching in Korea and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Technical Communication at Montana Tech. Jon has begun writing his first book, The Story of Will, whose movie rights are still (very) available. Catch more of Jon at (@ExpedJon)

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