Hostile Environments

Our high polar orbit took us over Antarctica, once every few hours. Well into the Southern autumn, most of the continent was shrouded in blackness, lit only by the occasional lightning strike. We could just see the edge of a massive cyclonic storm over the Ross Sea.

Marta floated over to the thick observation port with her dSLR. There wasn’t really anything to see from here that couldn’t be seen by numerous weather satellites, in many more wavelengths, but she liked to have her own photos.

“You going to tweet that one?” I asked, after she clicked the shutter a few times.

“Maybe,” she said. “Reports from the ground say the wind speed is upwards of 200 kilometers an hour. Hell of a storm.”

“Wow. It looks almost motionless from up here. I wonder if there’s anyone down there looking up right now?”

“Probably not; I’d be huddled in the warmest building I could find.”

Imagining the cold and the wind and the blowing snow, I shivered a bit involuntarily. “Makes our little station seem cozy, eh?”

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