Polar bear

Nuclear Ninety North

Eclipse of the Midnight Sun

August 1st, 2008

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Approaching the Pole: Arctic Icescapes

Eclipse 2008 gallery image S126.jpg

2008-07-23 21:41 UTC Click images for enlargements. 84°59.54'N 52°28.88'E

I found the surreal shapes and colours of the sea, ice, and sky absolutely enthralling, and took a multitude of pictures, only a surfeit of which are reproduced here. We first encountered pack ice when approaching Franz Josef Land on the way North. The bulk of the following pictures were taken as we approached the Pole. If you find these images tedious, just skip to the next page. Me, I can look at them for hours.

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2008-07-23 21:41 UTC 84°59.56'N 52°28.87'E

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2008-07-23 21:41 UTC 84°59.59'N 52°28.83'E

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2008-07-23 21:43 UTC 84°59.92'N 52°25.08'E

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2008-07-23 21:45 UTC 85°0.24'N 52°23.65'E

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2008-07-23 21:46 UTC 85°0.45'N 52°21.92'E

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2008-07-23 21:51 UTC 85°1.29'N 52°25.36'E

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2008-07-23 21:54 UTC

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2008-07-24 22:55 UTC 89°29.94'N 62°1.52'E

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2008-07-24 22:56 UTC 89°30.01'N 61°57.73'E

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2008-07-24 22:56 UTC 89°30.04'N 61°56.25'E

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2008-07-24 23:09 UTC 89°32.66'N 62°43.46'E

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2008-07-25 01:21 UTC

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2008-07-25 01:21 UTC 89°53.86'N 22°46.67'E

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2008-07-25 01:22 UTC 89°53.93'N 22°30.63'E

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2008-07-25 01:22 UTC 89°53.96'N 22°22.99'E

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2008-07-25 01:22 UTC 89°54.04'N 22°5.21'E

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2008-07-25 01:22 UTC 89°54.05'N 22°2.38'E

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2008-07-25 01:22 UTC 89°54.07'N 21°56.36'E

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2008-07-25 01:23 UTC 89°54.23'N 21°19.27'E

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2008-07-25 01:23 UTC 89°54.27'N 21°9.38'E

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2008-07-25 01:24 UTC 89°54.38'N 20°44.77'E

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2008-07-25 01:24 UTC 89°54.41'N 20°38.95'E

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2008-07-25 01:24 UTC 89°54.46'N 20°28.39'E

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2008-07-25 01:26 UTC 89°54.84'N 20°4.61'E

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2008-07-25 01:31 UTC 89°56.01'N 21°49.05'E

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2008-07-25 01:32 UTC 89°56.19'N 22°32.76'E

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2008-07-25 01:32 UTC 89°56.25'N 22°50.75'E

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2008-07-25 01:32 UTC 89°56.36'N 23°20.43'E

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2008-07-25 01:33 UTC 89°56.45'N 23°46.67'E

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2008-07-25 01:34 UTC 89°56.67'N 23°55.37'E

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2008-07-25 01:34 UTC 89°56.76'N 23°46.61'E

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2008-07-25 01:36 UTC 89°57.16'N 23°59.20'E

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2008-07-25 01:37 UTC 89°57.28'N 23°14.06'E

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2008-07-25 01:37 UTC 89°57.35'N 22°34.55'E

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2008-07-25 01:38 UTC 89°57.48'N 21°19.27'E

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2008-07-25 01:39 UTC 89°57.58'N 20°16.60'E

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2008-07-25 01:39 UTC 89°57.68'N 19°13.48'E

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2008-07-25 01:40 UTC 89°57.75'N 19°0.10'E

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2008-07-25 01:40 UTC 89°57.82'N 19°23.85'E

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2008-07-25 01:40 UTC 89°57.89'N 20°31.66'E

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2008-07-25 01:41 UTC 89°57.90'N 20°43.05'E

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2008-07-25 01:41 UTC 89°57.92'N 20°58.71'E

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2008-07-25 01:41 UTC 89°57.93'N 21°9.55'E

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2008-07-25 01:41 UTC 89°58.03'N 22°24.96'E

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2008-07-25 01:42 UTC 89°58.14'N 23°28.40'E

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2008-07-25 01:44 UTC 89°58.46'N 23°39.18'E

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2008-07-25 01:45 UTC 89°58.58'N 23°31.24'E

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2008-07-25 01:45 UTC 89°58.68'N 23°19.33'E

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2008-07-25 01:45 UTC 89°58.71'N 23°18.62'E

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2008-07-25 01:46 UTC 89°58.83'N 23°29.49'E

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2008-07-25 01:47 UTC 89°59.13'N 23°43.17'E

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2008-07-25 01:47 UTC 89°59.18'N 23°56.55'E

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2008-07-25 01:48 UTC 89°59.26'N 23°50.85'E

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2008-07-25 01:48 UTC 89°59.37'N 23°43.16'E

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2008-07-25 01:48 UTC 89°59.39'N 23°42.12'E

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2008-07-25 01:49 UTC 89°59.49'N 24°28.50'E

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2008-07-25 01:50 UTC 89°59.67'N 26°40.97'E

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2008-07-25 01:50 UTC 89°59.74'N 25°1.35'E

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2008-07-25 01:52 UTC 89°59.90'N 26°52.61'E

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2008-07-25 01:52 UTC 89°59.93'N 27°30.36'E

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2008-07-25 01:53 UTC 89°59.97'N 32°6.25'E

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2008-07-25 01:53 UTC 89°59.99'N 66°28.82'E

Longitudes go all screwball as you approach the Pole; it's a co-ordinate singularity, not a physical one (thank goodness!).

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2008-07-25 01:53 UTC 89°59.99'N 106°13.69'E

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2008-07-25 02:05 UTC 89°59.66'N 6°9.88'E

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2008-07-25 02:05 UTC 89°59.66'N 7°20.28'E

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2008-07-25 02:05 UTC 89°59.66'N 11°4.77'E

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2008-07-25 02:09 UTC

Breaking Ice: The Movie

The following twenty-five minute video (Flash player and broadband connection required: 314 kBit/sec transfer rate, total file size 56 Mb) shows breaking ice from several different perspectives as we proceeded southward through the pack ice from the Pole. Our course paralleled the path broken heading north, but due to the dynamics of icebreaker operation, for the most part we broke ice adjacent to the northward path, pushing the broken ice into the channel from our earlier passage. There's something about this video that's strangely evocative of the “looking out the window” television transmissions from Apollo missions orbiting the Moon.

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by John Walker
October 27th, 2008
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This document is in the public domain.