South Pole

Missing image
Location of the South Pole in the Antarctic continent.
The South Pole is the southernmost point on the Earth, as defined in any of several ways.

Geographic South Pole

The Geographic South Pole is the point where the earth's axis of rotation intersects the surface. This is the point usually meant when an unspecified "south pole" is mentioned.

The first humans to reach the Geographic South Pole were Roald Amundsen and his party on December 14, 1911. Amundsen named his camp Polheim. Amundsen's main competitor Robert Falcon Scott reached the Pole a month later. On the return trip Scott and his party of four all died of hunger and extreme cold. There have been many expeditions to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation. The leaders of some of the first of these are, in order: Amundsen, Scott, Hillary, Fuchs, Havola, Crary, Fiennes. US Admiral Richard Byrd on November 29, 1929 became by the assistance of his first pilot Bernt Balchen the first person to fly over the South Pole.

The fastest unsupported walking journey to the Geographic South Pole from the ocean is 47 days and was set in 1999 by explorers Tim Jarvis and Peter Treseder, who manhauled 200kg sleds containing food and cooking fuel.

At present, Antarctica is located over the South Pole, although this has not been the case for all of Earth's history because of continental drift. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station was established during the International Geophysical Year in 1958 and is permanently staffed by research and support personnel.

The projection of the south geographic pole onto the celestial sphere gives the south celestial pole.

Ceremonial South Pole

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Buildings have to be built on stilts at the South Pole. The ceremonial pole and flags can be seen in the background.
The ceremonial South Pole.  Flags of the  signatories are arrayed around it, and the Pole Station's old dome is in the background.
The ceremonial South Pole. Flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatories are arrayed around it, and the Pole Station's old dome is in the background.

The Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It consists of a glass sphere on a plinth, surrounded by the flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatories. It is located a few hundred meters from the Geographic South Pole (see above), which is marked only by a small sign and a stake.

The dome seen in the pictures is partially buried due to snow storms. The entrance to the dome has to be regularly bulldozed to uncover it. More recent buildings are now built on stilts so that the snow does not build up against the side of them.

Geomagnetic South Pole

The South Magnetic Pole is one of the two magnetic poles of the Earth's magnetic field. It lies near the Geographic South Pole, but its exact location is gradually shifting. The South Magnetic Pole is named for its proximity to the Geographic South Pole; in a strict magnetic sense, it is a north pole. The south pole of a magnet is attracted to the north poles of other magnets, hence the south pole of a freely suspended magnet (as in a compass) will point toward the Geomagnetic South Pole.

Magnetic South Pole

The Magnetic South Pole is the point nearest the Geographic South Pole where the field lines of Earth's magnetic field point directly into the ground. It does not coincide with the Geomagnetic South Pole.

On 16 January, 1909 three men (Douglas Mawson, Edgeworth David, and Alistair Mackay) from an expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton found the Magnetic South Pole [1] (

Southern Pole Of Inaccessibility

It is located at Template:Coor dm on the surface of the Antarctic continent which is most distant from the Southern Ocean. It was reached in 1957 by a Soviet Antarctic Expedition. They established the 'Sovetskaya' station which was occupied during the 1957-1958 southern summer..

Related topics

  • North Pole (also contains a description of how the poles of other planets are determined)

External links

ast:Polu Sur cy:Pegwn y de da:Sydpolen de:Sdpol es:Polo Sur fr:Ple Sud fy:Sdpoal he:הקוטב הדרומי la:Polus australis nl:Zuidpool no:Sydpolen ja:南極点 pl:Biegun Południwy pt:Plo Sul simple:South Pole sl:Južni tečaj sr:Јужни пол fi:Etelnapa sv:Sydpolen zh:南极


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