The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Polarstern researchers report: Our year in the Arctic


The research icebreaker "Polarstern" is returning, the scientists have collected vast amounts of climate data. What exactly did the 140 million euro project bring?

Icon: enlarge

Research vessel "Polarstern" in the Arctic: Drifting on the ice floe


Alfred Wegener Institute / Stefan Hendricks

Only in a polar night does one get to know real darkness.

At around minus 40 degrees Celsius, Markus Rex stood on an ice floe and looked out into a blackness that was much more extensive than anything he had known at home.

"The world is shrinking to a small bubble of light that is diffused by one's own headlamp," explains the atmospheric physicist.

"You feel like you're on a strange heavenly body."

And when the moon pushed just above the horizon, the researcher finally felt like he was on another planet.

Sometimes the moon was shaped like a mushroom cloud, sometimes it looked almost square, then again it seemed to consist of stripes.

This was due to optical distortions caused by layers of the Arctic air at different temperatures.

"It's an alien experience," says Rex.

The expedition leader and his colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute have often experienced such special moments in recent months.

For a year they were on the move with the German research icebreaker "Polarstern" in the far north.

They spent around 150 days of it in twilight and darkness, on 56 days they had to deal with strong winds.

Polar bears have been sighted near the ship a total of 58 times.

The nearest human settlement was hundreds of kilometers away.

Read more with Spiegel Plus

More perspectives, more understanding.

Your advantages with SPIEGEL +

  • Icon: Check

    DER SPIEGEL as a magazine

    as an app, e-paper and on the e-reader

  • Icon: Check

    All articles on

    Exclusive texts for SPIEGEL + readers

  • Icon: Check

    Try one month for free

    Cancel anytime online

    A price

    only € 19.99 per month

One month for € 0.00

Try now for 0.00 € Buy nowArrow to the right

Already have a digital subscription? Register here

Restore iTunes subscription

SPIEGEL + is processed via your iTunes account and paid for with a purchase confirmation.

24 hours before it expires, the subscription is automatically renewed by one month at the current price of € 19.99.

You can cancel the subscription at any time in the settings of your iTunes account.

In order to use SPIEGEL + outside of this app, you have to link the subscription to a SPIEGEL ID account immediately after purchase.

With the purchase you accept our general terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2020-10-11

You may like

Tech/Game 2021-03-01T17:08:28.728Z
News/Politics 2021-03-23T23:01:56.282Z

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy