ALOMAR pictures winter 2003

the following pictures were all taken in winter 2003 at Andøya in the Vesterålen region of Northern Norway. Check back later as I will be adding more pictures after a while.

Click on the picture to see the full-size images.

This is the small 4-FWD car we use to go up to the observatory on the mountain. Here I got stuck in the snow when trying to get down, unfortunately.

Where I came from with the car. You see how it tried to clear its way through the snow.

It's in the middle of the night but the lights of the town of Andenes and the snow cover brightens up the night.

The moon is reflecting in the water. Isn´t that like in a romantic movie when the couple is meeting on the deck of a cruise ship ? Don't forget to remember that it´s -5 to -10 centigrades and up to 60km/h winds ;-)

Looking the other way, you can see more houses and mountains in the moonshine.

This is in the entrance of the observatory. The snow outside is slowly covering the door. So it´s time for clearing the door...

The observatory from outside. The design resembles a oktagonal bridge of a ship.

Heaps of snow everywhere due to the strong winds. This view covers 1 door, 1 garage and 2 windows. Fortunately, the observatory has doors to all directions to avoid being trapped by the snow.

This is on the road down the hill. You can see the observatory I´m working is as flat building left of the tower on the mountain.

Looking out over the Andøyfjord at around 9am. On the horison, you see the mountains of the island of Senja.

It is still pretty much snow on the road every morning due to the high winds and the blowing snow. So we heavy equipment to open the road.

This caterpillar with a snow milling cutter with separate motor is used when there is a lot of snow on the road. Even with this big machine it takes up to two hours to clear the 2,5km from the main road up to the observatory.

Another picture of this really impressing machine. Drawback: it costs us approx. 4000 NOK (580 US$) to clean the road once.

View from the mountain towards the south. The view is often disturbed by snow showers and blowing snow.

A moment later it cleared up and there was even a patch of clear sky. The lighted clouds prove that the sun is above the horizon already; unfortunately we haven´t seen it yet.

This is the view down on the little town of Andenes during the day. The houses of Andenes are visible on the tip reaching out to the sea.

These are the first sun rays that I have seen since I left Germany on the 10th January. It's great to have the sun again and the days are getting longer very fast now.

Hurra !!! The sun is really back !!!

Hurra !!! The sun is really really back !!!

At the same time, there are still many snow showers like this one which I caught out on the sea. The showers are very limited in their range and starting and ending very abruptly.

The snow heaps are growing every day and it is getting more and more work to dig out the main door every morning.

The annex connecting the main building and the little "tower" visible to the right is already fully covered by the snow.

There are big snow "dunes" all around the observatory. And they are even more impressive if you know how it looks like in summer without any snow.

In the Lofoten and Vesterålen Islands, there are quite a lot of white-tailed eagles (German: Seeadler, Norwegian: Havørn). It´s a pretty common sight to see them circling above our station. And often there are two or three circling together. This time I could only get one on the image.

After the long time without the sun, every sunrise is a special event. This one I saw February 7th around 9:30am.