This week at the station

This week at Casey: 2 May 2014

Solar eclipse

We may have missed the lunar eclipse a few weeks ago due to cloud, but this week at Casey we were lucky enough to witness a partial solar eclipse, where the moon spectacularly covered a large portion of the sun.

With the aid of thick tinted welders' glass and solar filters, were were easily able to see and photograph this rare event - the only solar eclipse for 2014.

This eclipse was to be an annual event which is where the moon, being at its furthermost from Earth (in apogee), appears smaller and doesn't cover the sun completely, leaving a 'ring of fire' around its rim.

Casey, not being completely within the path of annularity (within the moon's antumbral shadow) we saw the maximum of the eclipse as a thin sickle that moved gradually around the disc of the sun for several minutes as shown in the image below.

While the day did not turn to night altogether, the reduction in light along with the thin cloud cover and multiple cloud layers on the horizon, gave the surrounding icebergs and snow-covered terrain an eerie glow in the half-light.

It is no wonder that early man saw this phenomenon as a portent sent from the gods.

More information 

A sequence of images that show the progressive movement of the moon in front of the sun during a solar eclipse witnessed at Casey as a partial solar eclipse.
Eclipse time lapse showing the movement of the moon across the face…
(Photo: Grant Jasiunas)
Expedtioners at Casey witness the partial solar eclipse on 29 April 2014
Casey crowd witness the spectacle - with eye protection
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Scenery in front of Casey showing the half light that resulted from the partial total eclipse on the 29 april 2014
Eerie half-light as the eclipse reaches it's maximum
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Nick Johnston with a home-made mask containing 2 welders glasses to safely watch the eclipse.
Nick with the latest in designer masks to safely watch the eclipse
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Casey expeditoner Stuart Griggs with his home-made safety mask with welders glass inset for observing the eclipse at Casey on 29 April 2014
Stu and his colourful safety mask
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Rob Bennett and camera taking images of the partial eclipse at Casey 29 April 2014
Rob taking photos with solar filter in place
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Alison Dean with safety mask sitting in a deck chair to observe the partial solar eclipse at Caey 29 April 2014.
Ali taking in the rays - despite it being a bracing -27C…
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
The eclipse at its maximum showing the moon covering the sun with a wide sickle shaped rim of light still showing
The eclipse at its maximum
(Photo: Grant Jasiunas)


As hoped, Friday the 25th April dawned clear, cold and crisp at Casey. We donned our winter gear to brave the chilly Antarctic temperatures and assembled beneath the flagpoles for our ANZAC service.

The flags were raised, then lowered to half mast, the address was given, and the readings were done. The haunting tones of the Last Post were followed by two minutes' silence during which we remembered those that have given their lives during wartime – particularly those Australian and New Zealanders that lost their lives during World War I, the war to which the term ANZAC relates.

After our service we enjoyed a traditional ‘gunfire breakfast’ and a game of Two-Up, which also raised money for Camp Quality.

Expeditoners assembled for an ANZAC dawn service
Dawn service at Casey for ANZAC Day
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
The Australian and NZ flags flying at half mast at Casey on ANZAC Day
The Australian and New Zealand flags at half mast
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Expeditoners at Casey playing Two-Up outside in the snow
Playing Two-Up in the snow
(Photo: Grant Jasiunas)
Two pennies lying rim up in the snow after throwing during a game of Two-Up
A good reason not to play Two-Up in the snow
(Photo: Grant Jasiunas)

The gift of Easter

Easter is a time when we traditionally rest and reflect, and family can feel far away. It is also generally a festive time on station when we can eat too much, which was not hard to do at Casey this year.

Our chef Eddie once again outdid himself with delicious spicy hot cross buns in the week before Easter, and on Saturday night a honey glazed ham, melt in the mouth lamb fillets, accompanied in part by fresh beans from hydroponics.

Easter Sunday, everyone awoke to a small basket of chocolatey goodness outside their door. Suggesting that while rabbits may be gone from Macca, they do lurk at Casey.

Hot cross buns at Casey
Easter hot cross buns by Eddie
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Table setting at Casey for Saturday night dinner
Table set for Saturday night dinner
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Food in the bain-marie at Casey for Easter
Yummy honey glazed ham
(Photo: Pete Hargreaves)
Easter chocolate baskets at Casey
Easter baskets waiting for delivery
(Photo: Ali Dean)
Easter basket with message for a Hoppy Easter
The message says it all
(Photo: Ali Dean)


This month, as the meteorology guys have told us, Casey has enjoyed unusually calm conditions.

Just sometimes this coincides with a snowfall that, instead of becoming a pile of wind blown white powder forming the all too familiar bliz tail or wind scoop, consists of pristine geometric shapes and patterns in the form of unique snowflakes that are quite stunning as the following images show. 

A single snowflake
Perfect in its imperfections
(Photo: Joe Dragone)
A snowflake on a piece of mesh
Geometry at its best
(Photo: Joe Dragone)