Learn About Life and Astronomy at the South Pole

Have you ever wondered what it is like to live in Antarctica? Well, you can find out this Sunday, March 5, by attending the latest free webinar presented by the RAS (Remote Astronomical Society) Observatory. “Astronomy at the South Pole” will be presented by Simon P. Balm, PhD, Professor of Astronomy at Santa Monica College.

“Antarctica is the coldest, driest, and most desolate continent on the surface of the Earth,” he says. “However, these extreme conditions also make the high Antarctic plateau one of the best observing sites for astronomical research.”

While a Postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., Balm helped design, build and install a radio telescope at the geographical South Pole. He wintered-over with the telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station during the 1996 austral winter.

“I intend to describe my experiences during three trips to the icy continent,” says the native-Londoner of this weekend’s webinar, “this included a whole year spent wintering-over with a radio telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station.” Balm is currently working with renowned Santa Monica artist Lita Albuquerque on an art installation project planned for the South Pole Station in 2008.

Those wishing to participate in the webinar should join the Yahoo! group specifically setup for this meeting. All further information will be distributed only to those that sign up for this group. Questions should be directed to the email link provided.

Hundreds of attendees can be simultaneously accommodated to participate in this seminar, however, space is limited. So if you are interested, the sponsors urge you to sign-up immediately to guarantee a seat.

This series of webinars, presented as a public service by the RAS, was first mentioned in The Genre Traveler Blog on Nov. 19, 2005.

The seminar is presented in conjunction with Ivocalize.com, (www.ivocalize.com) a web conference hosting service and will last approximately 1 hour.


  • Web-based seminar, “Astronomy at the South Pole”
  • Presented by Simon P. Balm, PhD
  • Sunday, March 5, 2005 12pm MST (19:00 UTC)
  • To see what other webinars are available in this series or sign up for this one, visit www.ras-observatory.org/ras/Web_Seminars/web_seminars.html.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.