9 November, 1997

Hi everyone,

It has been a great day here on the ice.   I am learning all kinds of 
neat things about Antarctica and all the science that is going on here.  
It is real strange to go to bed when the sun is still shining and then 
get up when it is still shining.   This morning when I got up the wind 
was blowing really  hard and I could not see any of the mountains or the 
sea ice from my window.  I was able later to see the buildings below just 
before I got dressed to go outside.
It is so cold from the wind that the people here must wear special heavy 
clothes to stay warm.   They were long underware over their regular 
underware, then they put on a pair of pants and a shirt, then a jacket, 
then a pair of outer pants called wind pants then a really really heavy 
coat with a hood.   Many of them wear hats under thier hoods and of 
course they wear several pairs of gloves sometimes to keep their hands 
warm.  On their feet the wear wool socks and then big blue or white boots 
that look really hard to walk in.  By the time they finish dressing - no 
one even knows who they are cause they all look alike.  Can you imagine 
that they think all bears look alike and they dress like that?  Boy am I 
ever glad that I am a bear!!!!!
People keep saying that it is summer here and yet it this place is still 
covered in snow and ice.  I wonder why the sun is still shining even when 
I go to bed?
You may like to try this and maybe it will help you understand why down 
here is having summer and up there it is winter almost.

Get a round balloon and blow it up.   Have a big person tie it at its end 
so that it will stay blown up.   Next take a marker and draw a line 
around the middle of the balloon both ways ( the long way around where 
you tied it and also around the center of the balloon).   These lines are 
suppose to be the equator around the middle and the international date 
line from top to bottom.
If you divide the balloon again around in the same direction as the 
equator so that you have two more lines on the top and two on the bottom, 
you will have a little globe of our earth.   The line above the equator 
is called the tropic of Cancer and it is the closest point at which the 
sun gets in the Northern Hemisphere.  The top line is the Arctic Circle  
and above this line the north gets very cold and often has much snow and 
ice year round.   The lines on the bottom half of the globe are just like 
the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle.  The Tropic of 
Capricorn is the farthest point south that the sun actually goes.  
Antarctica is below the Antarcic circle.
The International Date Line is set so we know when a new day begins.  For 
example if you live in California you are 21 hours behind the time that I 
am at on Antarcica.  I live in a different day than you do.

If you now get an adult or friend to help you, you will be able to see 
why it is always day light here right now.  Get a flash light and turn it 
on.   If you tip your balloon and shine the light on your equator and 
have a friend turn the balloon around while keeping it tipped you will 
see what happens when the earth moves about the sun.  Don't forget to 
keep the light on the equator as you turn your globe.

Return to E. Shackleton Bear's Page

Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.