Through the First Antarctic Night, 1896-1899

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Travel - 276 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1900 edition. Excerpt: ...the surrounding sky, and in this space, also in a straight line, were four luminous spots. The colour of the aurora was a bright cream with an occasional suggestion of pink. There was no noticeable reflection of light on the snow. There was a quick and constant transformation in the form of the phenomenon. A wave of light ran through the luminous bands and spots from east to west. Some parts brightened and enlarged, others darkened and faded away. The arcs were generally of a steady rayless brightness; the apparent movement and wavy effect of light was in a series of sharp rays on a film-like display before the arc. I found it difficult in the low temperature to remain outside for periods sufficiently prolonged to catch the minute changes in force and character, but I made a series of eight sketches at intervals of about twenty minutes apart, which illustrate the most striking changes. The second form was a homogeneous arc with a fragment of a second arc under it. This hung for some time with a steady nebulous glow between it and the one previous, as well as between the intervening periods of all. The following typical forms then were rapid and almost imperceptible gradations. The third sketch represents the same primary arc always of the same size and in the same position on the heavens: but under it are portions of two other arcs and a suggestion of a luminous horizontal line. At times a wave of rays, converging to the pole of the circle described, ran over the main arc. In the fourth sketch there are two arcs and a portion of a third which were seen persistently in all the exhibits to the present. In the fifth there is a second arc crossing the first. This was suggested in the third and it reappeared in the seventh. The sixth form was an arc...

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User Review  - michaelwarr - LibraryThing

The first scientific Antarctic expedition led by the Belgian A. Gerlache. It included 13 months on the icebound Belgica. Dr. Cook and Roald Amundsen helped keep the crew alive. Read full review

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