The 2023 Pole Marker

winter side of the marker
summer side of the marker (GW) of the two-sided marker that was unveiled on 1 January 2023. It was fabricated by 2022 winterover machinist Thomas Leps. UPDATE: So...why hasn't this page been posted until February? Perhaps in part because the marker wasn't finished until later in January just before Thomas Leps went north. The main late add...that famous quote from Sir Edmund Hillary as he was eight days away from Pole on 28 December 1957, "I am hell-bent for the Pole, God-willing and crevasse permitting." Here's a photo of the day side of the marker (ZZ) before the quote and the "true south" compass point diamond from the Antarctic flag were added.

More about the marker design below, but first...a few photos of the traditional unveiling ceremony.

the site of the previous Pole marker
The ceremony began at the site of the previous Pole marker (GW)
passing the flag
...where first, the American flag is passed from the old to the new marker location. (GW)

planting the flag
Thomas Leps, who created the marker, plants the flag at the new marker location (ZM). Oh...the sign was moved earlier in case you were wondering.

passing the new Pole marker
Next, the still-veiled new Pole marker is passed down the line. (GW)
the marker at the new location
Thomas receives the marker (ZM).
the marker is unveiled
And the marker is unveiled! (ZM)

Note in the above photos that the Antarctica flag makes its appearance once again, it was prominently featured in last year's marker (Wikipedia entry about the flag and its designer Evan Townsend).

Fabricator Thomas Leps shared with me some details about the marker design and fabrication:

The faces of the marker are day and night themed. The night side is an anodized aluminum plate with the 44 constellations visible from pole during winter, which correspond to the 44 winterovers, engraved on to it, along with the naked eye visible planets, sized by their relative brightness from earth, and Sagittarius a*, the black hole imaged by EHT over the winter. Around the exterior of the night plate are copper inserts representing the sun at sunrise and sunset, and an aluminum insert representing the sun at winter solstice. The day side is another anodized aluminum plate engraved with an outline of the antarctic continent. At the pole is a brass pole that acts as a sun dial.

Engraved on the continent are radial lines for local time in 3hr increments as well as circles that show the time of year by sun angle at Nov 7, Nov 21, Dec 21, Jan 21, and Feb 4--the solstice, a month before and after the Solstice, and halfway between solstice and sunrise/sunset.

The [major feature of the] design is a brass ring with phases from the lunar and solar eclipses seen from pole during summer and winter 2022 pressed in around the exterior of the ring.
the marker outer ring details
None of the photos I've seen of the marker do justice to that brass outer ring.
So...above is a brief video from Thomas which shows it well.

His description of the ring and its fabrication:
The design is a brass ring with phases from the lunar and solar eclipses seen from pole during summer and winter 2022 pressed in around the exterior of the ring. The eclipses were made by boring out holes in the exterior of the brass ring, then turning down copper, brass, and aluminum bars to 0.0015" oversize. Then I cut the matching circles out of the rounds for the different phases of the eclipses. The matching crescents and ovals were then pressed in to the holes on the brass ring simultaneously. The sunrise and sunset inserts were made in a similar way. Aluminum and brass for the solar eclipse and copper and aluminum for the lunar eclipses.

Oh...Thomas was under the weather as the new year approached...he ended up finishing (almost) the marker just before New Years Day after a 36-hour MAPO marathon. And...he didn't quite finish in time...

the marker on unveiling day
Here is the night side of the marker as seen on New Years of the Suns is missing (GW).

the Sun
The unfinished missing Sun which was added later (TL).

Credits and thanks to Thomas Leps (TL) as well as Zane Ziebell (ZZ), George Wortley (GW), Zeke Mills (ZM), and Sheryl Seagraves.