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Close-up view of geographic marker
Photo Credits: Andrea Dixon

All points north

2014 geographic South Pole marker unveiled on New Year's Day

All directions point north from the geographic South Pole. The new 2014 geographic South Pole marker, designed as an equatorial sundial, makes that point abundantly clear in the above picture. The South Pole Station External U.S. government site crew, at right, set the new geographic marker at 90 degrees south latitude on Jan. 1, 2014. Each crew that winters over at the station designs and builds a new marker, which the following summer crew places during a ceremony to reposition the marker on Jan. 1. The ice sheet on which the station sits moves about 30 feet per year, requiring the geographic marker to be reset. The new geographic marker was designed by scientist Dana Hrubes and fabricated by machinist Steele Diggles. The sundial surface is aligned with the Earth's equator, and the gnomon (the post that produces the shadow) is aligned perpendicular to the surface. The main component of the sundial was machined from five-inch-diameter solid round bronze.

For more about the geographic South Pole marker, see previous article — A good point: South Pole geographic marker changes with the times