Past Lectures 2018

The ‘Freiberg Colloquium’ is a series of lectures of the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, of the Saxon Mining Authority, of the Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg. e.V., of the Saxon State Archives/Mining Archives, of the Technical University of Freiberg and of the terra mineralia.

Thursday, 25 January 2018, 7.30 pm

Life in the Endless Ice – A Wintering Report

Dr Sissy Kütter, geophysicist, Gotha
160th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

Every year just before Christmas, nine new technicians and scientists set out for Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica to relieve their predecessors and look after the station for the coming winter. Over the Antarctic summer from the end of November to the middle of February, the Neumayer-Station, at this stage housing around 50 scientists and technicians, is a hive of activity and the base for numerous projects. Then, when the last aeroplanes have set off on their journeys towards the warm north by the end of February, things get calmer but by no means less exciting. It’s at this point that the stormy season starts, the days get shorter, the temperature falls from a summery -5 to as low as -50°C, and all around the shelf ice several hundred metres thick the sea ice begins to extend. The polar night, during which the sun ceases to rise above the horizon at NMIII for more than 50 days, is also the time of starlit skies, polar lights and the breeding season for Emperor Penguins. Living and working in this setting is a unique experience and forms the subject of this lecture.