Polar Race - Frequently Asked Questions
Question - Are Polar bears scared by
Answer - No, You are intruding into their environment so be careful
- you are simply a food source to them.
Question - How cold will it be for the
Answer - Temperatures can easily each -40°C. Your household
deep freeze reaches about -15°C.
Question - Will any animals be encountered?
Answer - Yes; Muskox
look like old American bison, seals, wolves,
bird and, of course, polar
Question - How do you go to the toilet?
Answer - Quickly!
Question - Do Iridium Mobile Phones work
all the way to the Magnetic North Pole?
Answer - Yes the Iridium Satellite Phone System is the only one
that works all over the world. It consists of 66 low orbit satellites.
Question - Will pictures be sent pictures
back to the UK?
Answer - Yes, both photographs and movie clips! Have a look at
Photo Gallery and
Movie Theatre pages of the website.
Question - Will the batteries survive
in the extreme cold?
Answer - Batteries will need to be kept warm and thus will be
carried inside clothing. Lithium Ion batteries will are the best for
Question - What is the terrain like?
Answer - It varies from totally flat sea ice, to huge
boulders which have to be scrambled over. Most of the time,
however, it's just like the picture at the top of this page.
Question - Will GPS be used for navigation?
Answer - Yes GPS (Global Positioning System) will be used by the
teams to confirm their position. This will be backed up by dead reckoning
Question - How far from the UK is the
Magnetic North Pole?
Answer - On a recent training weekend, the GPS familiarisation
exercise involved finding out the distance. It is 2914 statute miles from
Corsham (Near Chippenham, Wilts.) to the North Magnetic Pole.
Question - What is the time at the
Answer - The North Magnetic Pole is in the American Central Time
zone, which is 6 hours less than GMT. The race takes place during the
daylight saving time period, so during the race it is actually 7 hours
less than GMT (or 6 less than BST, as the UK observes summer time too).
But a scientist may give you a different answer...
To calculate the current time at a given location:
- Find out the longitude of the location.
- At each degree longitude west, the time is 4 minutes less than than GMT.
- Or, at each degree longitude east, the time is 4 minutes more than than GMT.
For the North Magnetic Pole, at N 78°35.7' W 104°11.9':
- The longitude is 104°11.9' west, which is the same as 104.2° west.
- Therefore its time is 104.2 x 4 minutes less than than GMT.
- 104.2 x 4 = 416.79 minutes = 6 hours 57 minutes
- So the time at the North Magenetic Pole is 6 hours 57 minutes less than GMT.
So, at 12:00 at the North Magnetic Pole, it's 18:57 in London.
Or, at 12:00 in London it's 05:03 at the North Magnetic Pole!