Saturday, June 16, 2007

Summit Camp, Greenland

It was colder last night. When I went to bed about 10:30 pm local time, the temperature was 17 degrees Celsius and falling. It continued to fall, and early this morning, it felt really cold. However, by 7 AM, it was again comfortable in the tent. I was house mouse again, so I got an early start on the work. I washed dishes and stocked things around breakfast. Then, I took a walk on the skiway (runway). It was about a 1.5 hr. round trip. It is being groomed for our departure. We got the word that our C-130 cabin will be a cold cabin (no heat). Some of the ice cores are returning to Kanger. They can not be allowed to warm and melt. We will just have to bundle up. Kanger is only a two hour trip. The six hour trip to Schenectady (Scotia), NY should have heat.

Just in case you wondering... Shower and laundry day! yippee!

I want to share with you a most beautiful sky phenomenon I witnessed on my walk today. The sky was awash with small needle-like crystals that sparkled and shimmered like a host of rainbows. The sky was resplendent. You can't feel the crystals, but one surely can see them. The term for what I observed was diamond dust.

Diamond dust usually occurs in clear or nearly-clear skies, and it is sometimes called clear-sky precipitation. It is usually seen in the Arctic or Antarctic, but it can occur anywhere the temperature is well below freezing. Diamond dust occurs when a tiny dust particle or similar acts as a seed about which ice collects. The ice particles refract light, and act as little prisms.

I tried to take a picture of the diamond dust, but the image does not capture its beauty. I suppose it is very difficult to capture things ephemeral. My Internet search yielded a macro-view of diamond dust, but this view treats it as a science topic. What made it incredibly special was to be surrounded by it, and be a part of it. Sorry, no pictures today. Imagine something beautiful.

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