From the immense to the miniscule — the solar eclipse, a perfect snowflake, and other things in between.

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.

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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.

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.


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.