The continent of Antarctica in the south polar region of Earth
Click on image for full size
The Antarctic Region
What Will You Find There?
If you travel to the South Pole, you will find the continent of Antarctica surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The geographic South Pole is marked by a large sign that scientists put into the ice. If you have a compass, you can find the magnetic South Pole. It is in a slightly different location than the geographic South Pole. Ice covers the land and tops the seas as ice shelves. In the night sky you may see the aurora. The aurora is called the Southern Lights here. There are large mountains and volcanoes and many types of birds such as penguins, albatrosses and skuas. Seals and whales live in the ocean water surrounding Antarctica, as well as tons of small shrimp-like creatures called krill that swim together in large schools.
Scientists in Antarctica
In the summer, many scientists travel to Antarctica to study the frozen continent. Most of the scientists live at research stations. The scientists visiting Antarctica are studying the living things, rocks, ocean, ice, climate, weather, and stars to better understand this part of our planet. A few people stay in Antarctica year-round, even during winter when there is little or no daylight.
The South Pole
On top of the ice that covers the land at the South Pole, scientists have marked the location of the geographic pole with a marker sign. The ice moves slowly every year, so the marker sign is no longer in the correct location after a while. Each year the marker moves approximately 10 meters (30 feet) away from the Pole as the ice flows. So, on the first day of January, scientists at the South Pole Station add another marker to show the real location of the geographic South Pole.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest continent on Earth. It is about one and a half times the size of the United States. Almost all of Antarctica is covered with a thick layer of ice called...more
The Southern Ocean is sometimes known as the Antarctic Ocean or South Polar Ocean. It surrounds Antarctica in the South Polar Region. The Southern Ocean is a bit different from other oceans. Other oceans...more
Frozen water is found in many different places on Earth. Snow blankets the ground at mid and high latitudes during winter. Sea ice and icebergs float in the chilly waters of polar oceans. Ice shelves are...more
Ice shelves are found at the edges of glaciers and ice sheet. An ice sheet extends from land out over the ocean. Ice shelves are a part of the Earth's cryosphere. They can be found in both the north polar...more
New research shows that part of the Whillians Ice Stream in West Antarctica moves more than two feet twice every day in an earthquake-like pattern equal to a Magnitude 7 earthquake. In an earthquake, stress...more
Sea ice is frozen seawater. It floats on the oceans that are in Earth's polar regions. The salt in the seawater does not freeze. Very salty water gets trapped in the sea ice when it forms. The pockets...more
All sorts of living things call Earth’s polar regions home – from tiny lichens of the Arctic tundra to huge blue whales swimming through the frigid waters of the Southern Ocean. Some animals are live near...more