Scott Base staff finally see sunrise

05:40, Aug 20 2013
Antarctica sunrise
A WELCOME RETURN: Today's magnificent dawn delighted Scott Base staff, who last saw the sun on April 24.

A natural daily phenomena taken for granted around the globe every day has proved inspirational for Scott Base staff in Antarctica - sunrise.

Yesterday, the golden ball reached the horizon for the first time in nearly four months and today it peaked over.

It's a big moment for Antarctica New Zealand's 10 staff and four remaining Antarctic Heritage Trust conservators wintering over on the frozen continent in darkness thanks to its far south location.

Antarctica New Zealand's winter science technologist, Tim Delany, headed to the Arrival Heights laboratory near the base today to witness the spectacle, getting there 10 seconds before it rose.

''It was pretty good to see the sun again and this was the first time I'd seen nacreous clouds from Arrival Heights. They were pretty awesome and almost filled the dawn sky,'' he said.

It took 30 minutes for the sun to rise completely and an hour later, it set again.

Earlier, the Scott Base team said it was ''awesome, energising and inspiring" to see the sun reach the horizon yesterday.

They travelled in the base's new Hagglund, a tracked vehicle made for snow travel, to the United States' Pegasus Ice Runway on the Ross Ice Shelf for the best views of the welcome sight.

Stunning pearl-like nacreous cloud formations near Scott Base also impressed the team yesterday.

''I never knew nacreous clouds would be that spectacular. We all stood and watched them, mesmerised for quite some time,'' said team member Michael Rowe, Antarctica New Zealand's winter field support.

Scott Base staff last saw the sun on April 24.


The Press