FIRST HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGE of the South Pole clearly shows the U.S. Amundsen-Scott Station, which was established by Admiral Richard E. Byrd in 1957 and has been continuously occupied ever since.

Features of the station show up as bright areas in the radar image. The main building, a geodesic dome, which is 165 feet in diameter and 55 feet high, is marked by the large bright area at the center of the image. The line extending from the station to the upper right is the packed snow of a "highway" leading to an abandoned antenna site. The prominant horizontal line just below the dome is the 14,000-foot "skiway" for the aircraft that serve the station. The "ceremonial pole" marking the geographic South Pole is located between the skiway and the station (not visible).

The most surprising features of the image are the fainter line running parallel to the skiway and the cluster of bright radar signals that appear between it and the skiway. Scientists believe these spots mark the landing strip and buildings of the original research station, which was abandoned in 1974 and is now buried beneath 30 feet of ice and snow.


Images: CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY
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