On the 29th June, the sun returned to Mawson station after setting on the 13th. We have had about three to four hours of predawn light for the last ten days, but it is funny how much you miss the actual sun in the sky.
During the last 16 days without sun we have had a number of odd phenomena occur, including a suspicious sighting of the sun on the 20th, which has caused much debate as to what defines a sunrise or sunset and the existence of sunrise or sunset mirages. Janelle, our fabulous Bureau of Meteorology observer, tells us that sunrise occurs when the upper limb of the sun rises above the horizon. This would seem to indicate that maybe the sun did not rise on the 20th but we saw a sunrise mirage instead. A sunrise or sunset mirage occurs when the low slanting light rays are refracted between air layers of different temperatures. Check the picture and see what you think!
The huge strawberry moon set over the Casey Ranges. It was a beautiful sight to watch the huge moon set slowly behind the mountain range on the plateau. So pretty that it seems everyone took a mind picture and forgot to take an actual photo.
We had an aurora that was so bright we could capture it around the full moon. This is unusual because the moonlight usually overpowers the aurora’s colours.
We also witnessed a huge lunar corona that Josh spotted. A lunar corona occurs when each single corona light ray seen is reflected through a single droplet. This one was particularly nice with a large green ring sitting perfectly around the moon.
In addition we have had some amazing three hour sunrise/sunsets that have painted the station in pinks and yellow.