Last night there was a sonic tour around McMurdo Station. Andrea Polli, a sound artist who is visiting McMurdo Station on an NSF artists grant, led a group of people around the station to make recordings of different sounds. The tour ended at the NASA antenna where they track the polar orbiting scientific satellites. This is where Nik and I met up with the group. The dome can be seen easily from the station, but I had never been inside it until last night. The antenna was tracking a satellite while we were there, so first it moved into position and then slowly rotated to track the satellite as it moved across the sky.
The antenna made some interesting sounds, but the dome itself sounded like a drum. Each panel in the dome is made of a flexible material and as the wind blew, it sounded like a percussion instrument. I would like to go back when it is very windy to get the full experience of the drumming sounds.
The dome and antenna are on a hill above McMurdo Station so there is a less obstructed view of the sky. Sometimes the satellites are low on the horizon, so a little elevation helps with tracking. Being up high also gave us a nice perspective looking back on station. It looked expansive, but the buildings were small and looked like miniature versions of the station I know. I spend most of my time going between three buildings, the Crary Lab, my dorm, and Building 155, which is where the dining hall is located. It's always surprising to me to see how much stuff we have here. The footprint of town is fairly small, but then there are many shipping containers used for storage of supplies. There are also many containers for waste that are waiting to make there way back to the US for disposal.