UANT Outreach- Amundsen-Scott Station Campus







VITAL STATISTICS: Est. 1956, Students, researchers: 200

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If our main University Peak campus and McMurdo outreach campus lay at Antarctica's extremity nearest New Zealand, the Amundsen-Scott campus is more toward the continnental centre- at the bottom of the world at the geographic South Pole. This makes it our most sought-after research station. American researchers and students have continuously inhabited the facility since 1956. Indeed, Amundsen-Scott Hall (above), sitting on the South Pole, also sits on nearly 3 km of ice, under which is the continent's land itself.


There have been three historic campus buildings here- the original 'shack' from 1956, a geodesic dome (Buckminster Fuller inspired) from 1975, and a large two-storey (three if one counts the stilts), today's Amundsen-Scott Hall. The first building ecame obsolescent when snow slowly accumulated around it, without the means to remove it. The rate of 'entombement' was just over 1 m per year. Even the geodesic structure is threatened by snow accumulation.

Amundsen-Scott Geodesic Dome.

The dome's base would cover half a football field, and it is over 15 m high in the center. It was built not only as a South Pole base but a research center for atmospheric and astrophysics study, highly valued by the Ross College of Natural Science and the Scott Antarctic Studies College.

The unique polar position means astrophysical research conducted at Amundsen-Scott is now in demand all over the world. Four telescopes (including the current DASI, Viper and Python units, as well as a large (10 m) South Pole Telescope, planned by the United States, are turning it into a first-class research station. See a fantastic time-lapse video made by one of our Antarctic researchers.


The newest part of A-S Campus, now its main staging area, dates from 1999. It was designed to prevent snow accumulation by being built on stilts, to let the majority of the snow drift pass underneath it. In addition, this building is home to most of the researchers and students now working here. To see current conditions at the South Pole, please access the US Antarctic Program's webcam.

Hustle and bustle at South Pole Station- geodesic science dome is at right

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