The 2021 Pole Marker

the Pole marker unveiled 1 January 2021
Here is the newly unveiled Pole marker for 2021! (CNeske)

a closer look
Here is a closer look showing the ecliptic (solar elevation) line (AD).

top view of the marker
Another view of the top of the marker (AD).

The Pole marker is conceived during the previous winter...this one was designed by South Pole Telescope astronomer Geoffrey Chen and produced by machinist Cal Neske. As the pandemic caused a major cutback in summer staffing, both Geoffrey and Cal were around for the traditional ceremony held on New Years Day. Folks line up to pass the American flag from the old marker to the new marker location about 33 feet away...this is because the polar ice moves that distance in a year's time.

beginning of the flag pass
The beginning of the flag pass (ChrisN).
passing the flag
Moving the flag down the line (ChrisN).
passing the flag
Another view of the flag being passed along (ER).
Geoffrey Chen unveiling the marker he designed
Geoffrey Chen who designed the marker during his 2020 winter was still around and he got to unveil it (MW)(IC).
Below: 3 detailed photos of the marker by South Pole Area Manager Andrea Dixon (AD):
marker side view
marker side view
marker side view


the marker before it was installed
Above: a photo of the marker before it was installed (CNeske).

More detail on the design of the stunning 2021 South Pole marker, unveiled on New Year's Day: the top hemisphere of the marker is aluminum, representing the six months of night (including twilight) at 90 South, with selected Southern Hemisphere constellations, Scorpius, Lupus, Centaurus and the Southern Cross. The lower hemisphere is brass, representing the six months of day. An image of the elevated building of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station appears across the bottom.

the marker design submittal
Here is Geoffrey Chen's original design submittal for the Pole marker. (CNeske)
the marker being created
The marker being milled. (CNeske)

The rising/setting Sun of the Equinox is inspired by the classical 12-point compass rose of the previous 2020 South Pole Marker. The dates of the equinox sunset, winter solstice, equinox sunrise and summer solstice are engraved on the side, along with a plot of the solar elevation. On the pole below, the names appear of the 42 winter-over personnel of 2020. The 2021 marker was designed by Geoffrey Chen, astronomer at the South Pole Telescope, and crafted by machinist Cal Neske, both 2020 winter-overs.

Photo and other credits: CNeske is Cal Neske, the 2020 winterover machinist who fabricated the marker; AD is the South Pole Area Manager Andrea Dixon; ChrisN is Chris Nelson; ER is Ethan Rudnitsky; and MW is IceCuber Martin Wolf. He posted this and other photos on the IceCube Week 52 news report. Information about the marker design was shared to The Antarctic Report by South Pole Telescope.