Sunrise after the long polar night.Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. Healey
Seeing the sun after those four months of constant darkness was an instant energiser. I got a new understanding of its power and why it holds such an important place in many cultures across the world and the ages. It really is a life-giver, and there in Antarctica we surely and very practically felt that.
The transition from winter to summer gave rise to stunning pink and blue horizons. Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA–B. Healey
The transition period between 24 hours of “night” and 24 hours of “day” gave rise to stunning pink and blue horizons. Although temperatures were still as cold as during winter, with this new light everything felt warmer and brighter. With the light, the mood was almost instantly improved throughout the crew and everyone looked happier. Cohesion among the crew members quickly improved. Our chef Luca Ficara made a sun cake and the whole crew toasted the arrival of the sun together. My appetite and sleep pattern problems were also quickly resolved.
I now had all the data for the winter experiments. I could, with relief, look back at the level of participation achieved. It turned out to be among the ...