1. It seems that it would be so much fun to play soccer in Antarctica. I use to play soccer too so it was kind of interesting to see that you play it in Antarctica. How big were the Adelie penguins that tried to take over the field and how many of them were there? Response: The Adelies are about 18 inches high and there were three of them walking across the field.
2. Do you have any more pictures of the iceberg? If you do will you please post them?We live in Gustavus, Alaska. We have icebergs near Gustavus too. What is a tabular iceberg? I’ve never heard of one. Response: There are lots of pictures of icebergs. Tabular bergs are large flat bergs that form when an ice shelf sheds them. A few years ago part of the Wilkins ice shelf broke up and that’s why we saw so many.
3. Have you ever actually seen the canyon? And how did you know the canyon was there? By the way the picture of the penguin is really cute and the picture of the icebergs are awesome! Response: We can’t see an underwater canyon with our eyes so we use sonar to map it. We also use the gliders to track currents, and map characteristics of the water column (temperature, salinity, chlorophyll). Many of our gliders assist us with flying underwater through these canyons then they send us a picture of it onto our computers. I’ve included two visuals for you to study. The first here is an image near palmer station using the gliders.
Response cont’: To see this glider in action I recommend going to COOL videos at Rutgers. Hers is the URL just in case http://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu/index.php/COOL-Video/. Scroll down to the forth video on the list to see a real animation of the glider riding through the canyons near Palmer station. Let me know what you think.
4. Was it very cold? It sounds like a lot of fun. It would be fun to play soccer in Antarctica! Did it surprise you when the penguins walked on to the field? Response: It really isn’t too cold down here on the peninsula. In general, in the low to mid 30 degrees F. This is due to the moderating effect of the ocean which is between 1 and 3 degree C around here at this time of the year. There were quite a few penguins around when we were at Rothera station but there were a lot of people around the area we were playing and it was a bit surprising that they wandered on the playing area. They aren’t at all afraid of people if you are further than 5 feet or so away from them. They even might come over and peck at your boots!
5. How do you attach the PTT’s? Does it hurt the penguins? Are the PTT’s to track the penguins down to the underwater canyon? I am very interested. Can you post more? Thanks! Response: The PTT’s don’t hurt the penguins. They are attached by special tape and zip ties. We try to retrieve them after a month or so of use because they are expensive. If a tagged bird eludes us the PTT will be “shed” when the penguin molts so the penguin is only ”wearing” the PTT for a month or so in any event.
Thanks for all the great questions… keep them coming! Ken.