Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station
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|Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station
Polska Stacja Antarktyczna im. Henryka Arctowskiego
General view of Henryk Arctowski station
Map of Arctowski Station
|Established||26 February 1977|
Point Thomas Lighthouse
King George Island
|Year first constructed||n/a|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||red (lower) and white (upper) tower|
|Height||11 metres (36 ft)|
|Focal height||18 metres (59 ft)|
|Light source||solar power|
|Range||8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi)|
|Characteristic||L Fl W 9s. |
|Managing agent||Polish Academy of Sciences|
Named for Henryk Arctowski (1871-1959), who as meteorologist had accompanied the Belgian explorer Baron Adrien de Gerlache on the Belgian Antarctic Expedition "Belgica", 1897-1899. This was the first expedition to overwinter in Antarctica. He proposed the original notion of a wind chill factor, arguing that wind could be as damaging to human flesh as cold in harsh climates.
The station was established on 26 February 1977. It is managed by the Polish Academy of Sciences, and its main research areas include marine biology, oceanography, geology, geomorphology, glaciology, meteorology, climatology, seismology, magnetism and ecology.
Because it is readily accessible, and the Polish staffers are friendly, it is one of the most-visited scientific stations in Antarctica. A greenhouse provides fresh vegetables. The beaches near the station have numerous whale bones, relics of the time when the site was used to process whales killed nearby.
The station is near colonies of three different types of Pygoscelis penguins (Adelies, chinstraps, and gentoos), and has been designated a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) as provided by the Antarctic Treaty.
The grave of Polish wildlife photographer Włodzimierz Puchalski, surmounted by an iron cross, stands on a hill to the south of the station. Puchalski died on 19 January 1979 in the course of filming a nature documentary in the vicinity of the station. The grave and cross have been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 51), following a proposal by Poland to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.
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