Expedition will hunt for Ernest Shackleton's lost ship in 2019

During the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, Sir Earnest Shackleton was the man, or at least one of them. Other explorers of his day may have gathered more renown, but Shackleton's relentless drive and reputation for being cool under pressure made him a legend. 

During his career, Shackleton made four trips to the then mysterious continent. The first? Kind of meh. The second time around, he and three fellow explorers came home as a pack of bad asses, having traveled further into the Antarctic's interior than anyone else at the time and, while they were at it, scaling Mount Erebus.

The third trip, which took place in 1915, didn't go so well. His ship, The Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed, forcing Shackleton and his crew to abandon the ship. Despite his disastrous third sortie to the south pole, in 1921 Shackleton planned what would be his last trip to the frozen continent. But he never made it there: he died of a heart attack en route.

Close to 100 years later, Shackleton's misadventure on the Endurance are still capturing the imaginations of readers, explorers and scientists. So much so that, next year, an international team of scientists will do their damnedest to discover the ship's final resting place.

According to The BBC, in January and February of next year, a team of scientists will be studying the Larsen C ice shelf, near the area where the ship was noted by surviving members of the crew as having sunk. Read the rest

Google unveils Street View imagery from Antarctica, including South Pole Telescope, Shackleton sites

Photo: Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery. (Google Street View)

Today, Google is launching access to a new collection of hi-res imagery from the Antarctic. In this post are some examples of those stunning vistas, shared with Boing Boing courtesy of Google. Alex Starns, Technical Program Manager for the Street View team, writes:

Back in September 2010, we launched the first Street View imagery of the Antarctic, enabling people from more habitable lands to see penguins in Antarctica for the first time. Today we’re bringing you additional panoramic imagery of historic Antarctic locations that you can view from the comfort of your homes. We’ll be posting this special collection to our World Wonders site, where you can learn more about the history of South Pole exploration.

With the help of the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota and the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, we’ve added 360-imagery of many important spots, inside and out, such as the South Pole Telescope, Shackleton's hut, Scott’s hut, Cape Royds Adélie Penguin Rookery and the Ceremonial South Pole.

More about the project here. And more images below!

Photo: The Ceremonial South Pole. (Google Street View) Read the rest