Friday, March 04, 2011
The Dome is in the Christchurch museum in New Zealand as part of an exhibition about Hallett Station in Antarctica. This geometric dome was taken to Antarctica in pieces and assembled on site by United States Navy Seabees at Hallett Station in 1957. The dome is made of fibreglass with a tongue-and-groove wooden floor. The wall sections were originally fastened together with brass bolts that can be seen around the windows and vent edges. Brass fittings were used because they are non-magnetic and therefore did not effect the scientific instruments used in the dome.
The dome was used for weather recording and observation and also contained a variograph which recorded changes in the Earth’s magnetic field. The dome was initially positioned on the roof of a laboratory, which had stabilised foundations to reduce weather or vehicle interference with the sensitive scientific equipment. The observatory dome was kept free of magnetic contamination by ensuring that it contained no metal furniture or other items.
In the 1984/85 season, the dome was repositioned at ground level on a foundation of beams and refurbished as an accommodation and supply hut. From 2000 until it was dismantled in 2004 it was used as a latrine for Hallett Station clean-up personnel.