Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aurora Australis

We took a nice walk around Hobart and the harbor today.  We came across the Aurora Australis, an icebreaker in the Australian Antarctic Division.

Hobart is the second-busiest port in Australia (behind Sydney) and is the base for Australia's Antarctic research.  The research currently focuses on four areas:  Ice, ocean, atmosphere, and climate; Southern Ocean ecosystems; Adaptation to environmental change; and Impact of human activities in Antarctica.

The Aurora Australis is named after the southern version of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).  It's a huge ship that can carry 2-3 helicopters, desalinize 45,000 litres of water per day, and break through 1.5 metres of ice.  Quite a ship!

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