Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station

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Arctowski Station
Polska Stacja Antarktyczna
im. Henryka Arctowskiego
Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station
General view of Henryk Arctowski station
General view of Henryk Arctowski station
Location of Arctowski Station in Antarctica
Location of Arctowski Station in Antarctica
Arctowski Station
Location of Arctowski Station in Antarctica
Coordinates: 62°09′37″S 58°28′24″W / 62.160140°S 58.473247°W / -62.160140; -58.473247Coordinates: 62°09′37″S 58°28′24″W / 62.160140°S 58.473247°W / -62.160140; -58.473247
Country Poland
Location in AntarcticaKing George Island
Administered byPolish Academy of Sciences
Established26 February 1977 (1977-02-26)
Elevation2 m (7 ft)
 • Summer
 • Winter
TypeAll-year round
Arctowski Lighthouse Edit this at Wikidata
Arctowski lighthouse.JPG
Constructed1978 Edit this on Wikidata
Foundationconcrete base
Constructionconcrete tower
Height11 metres (36 ft)[2]
Shapecylindrical tower with balcony and lantern
Markingsred (lower) and white (upper) tower
Power sourcesolar power Edit this on Wikidata
OperatorPolish Academy of Sciences[2]
Focal height18 metres (59 ft)[3]
Range8 nautical miles (15 km; 9.2 mi)[3]
CharacteristicL Fl W 9s.[3]

Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station (Polish: Polska Stacja Antarktyczna im. Henryka Arctowskiego) is a Polish research station on King George Island, off the coast of Antarctica.


The station is 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.

Established on 26 February 1977, the station is managed by the Polish Academy of Sciences; 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,[4] it is one of the most-visited scientific stations in Antarctica. 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.

Historic site[edit]

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 location of the grave and cross has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 51), following a proposal by Poland to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Antarctic Station Catalogue (PDF) (catalogue). Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs. August 2017. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-473-40409-3. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Antarctica". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. ^ a b c List of Lights, Pub. 111: The West Coasts of North and South America (Excluding Continental U.S.A. and Hawaii), Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Islands of the North and South Pacific Oceans (PDF). List of Lights. United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2017.
  4. ^ Society Expeditions, "Expedition Log, EX 1929", Seattle: Society Expeditions, 1990, pp. 26-27
  5. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-03.

Further reading[edit]

  • Antarctica. Sydney: Reader's Digest, 1985, pp. 130–133, 300.
  • Child, Jack. Antarctica and South American Geopolitics: Frozen Lebensraum. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1988, p. 12.
  • Lonely Planet, Antarctica: a Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit, Oakland, CA: Lonely Planet Publications, 1996, p. 273.
  • Stewart, Andrew, Antarctica: An Encyclopedia. London: McFarland & Company, 1990 (2 volumes, p. 37.
  • U.S. National Science Foundation, Geographic Names of the Antarctic, Fred G. Alberts, ed. Washington: NSF, 1980.

External links[edit]

Map of Arctowski Station
Location of King George Island in the South Shetland Islands.