MOSAiC Monday: October 7, 2019

Icebreaking News: The MOSAiC expedition has found its floe

After only a few days of searching by helicopter, icebreaker, satellite, and on foot, the MOSAiC expedition has officially found a suitable ice floe in the Arctic to freeze into and drift along with for the next year. One of the most important milestones of the expedition has been achieved!

Esther Horvath, AWI

The Polarstern docks with the Akademik Fedorov. As the Polarstern becomes frozen in the ice, the Fedorov will deploy research stations on the ice around it, some as far as 50 km away. 
Photo: Esther Horvath, AWI

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10-minute clock icon #askmosaic: Sea Ice and Seasonality 

Student submitted question: Is there a reason why the MOSAiC expedition is starting now (September) and not some other time of year? 

Before we show you the expert's answer to this question, challenge your students to try to answer it themselves using the Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Hint: Remember that the goal of the MOSAiC expedition is to freeze an icebreaker in an ice floe in the Arctic that will then drift across the Arctic with the ice for an entire year.

Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph

Read the answer

Submit your question!

NGSS - ESS NGSS - SEP Engaging in Argument NGSS CCC - Patterns

5-minute clock icon Quick Bite: Polar Preparations

Did you know that planning for the MOSAiC expedition started a decade ago? A multinational year-long polar research expedition such as this requires a lot of people, time, training, equipment, and money.

  Scientists preparing gear       Scientists training for MOSAiC in Alaska      Scientists on snowmobiles

Scientists prepare for the MOSAiC expedition during a training in Utqiagvik, Alaska. Photos: JR Ancheta, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Ask your students to imagine that they will be preparing for a 13-month Arctic research expedition. As a class, brainstorm a list of what you would need to do to prepare for the expedition and make sure that everyone returns home safely. What would you need to pack or bring? What equipment or training would you need? How would you prepare for possible hazards or unforeseen incidents?

Find out more about packing, preparing, and training for an Arctic expedition

3-minute clock icon Getting Ready for MOSAiC

Watch Dr. Markus Rex, MOSAiC expedition leader, describe MOSAiC preparations and what will be going on during the first few weeks of the expedition. 

Video: Alfred Wegener Institute

10-minute clock icon MOSAiC Weekly Tracking

Plot the Polarstern

Each week we will provide you with the latitude and longitude coordinates of the Polarstern so that your students can track its journey across the Arctic in your classroom.

Download the map to plot coordinates

Download a larger map of the Arctic for a bigger picture view of the expedition area

Location of the Polarstern
 Date  Latitude  Longitude
 September 16, 2019  69.68 N  18.99 E
 September 23, 2019  72.31 N  26.93 E
 September 30, 2019  85.12 N  138.05 E
 October 4, 2019**  85.08 N  134.43 E
 October 7, 2019  85.10 N  133.82 E

 **Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

Log MOSAiC Data 

What happens in the Arctic as the seasons change? Find out firsthand with real-time Arctic data, provided for you here each week. 

Download a MOSAiC Data Logbook to keep track of Arctic conditions over the course of the expedition

Arctic Data*
 Date  Length of day (hrs)  Air temperature (deg C) at location of Polarstern  Arctic Sea Ice Extent (million km2)
 September 16, 2019  13.25  High: 10   Low: 4.4  3.9
 September 23, 2019  12.35  High: 6     Low: -1  4.1
 September 30, 2019  9.1  -4.7  4.4
 October 4, 2019**  6.27  -13.0  4.5
 October 7, 2019  3.05  -8.2  4.6

*Note: We expect data to fall within the following ranges: Length of day, 0-24 hours; Temperature, -40 to 14 degrees C; Sea ice extent, 3-15 million km2

**Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

Ship icon Follow the Journey

PolarTREC educator Katie Gavenus will be keeping a journal during her time aboard the Russian icebreaker Federov on the first leg of the MOSAiC expedition. Check out her Education Extensions at the end of each journal entry for more Arctic-related classroom activities. 

Read Katie's journals
Apply to be a PolarTREC educator or researcher!
Browse all Arctic and polar-related educational resources
Check out the MOSAiC Monday Archives

NGSS icon*Update* MOSAiC Monday and the NGSS

Good news for educators in the U.S. teaching with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or similar! We will now be tagging MOSAiC Monday engagements with the NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea subject(s), Science and Engineering Practice(s), and Crosscutting Concept(s) that they most closely connect to. Look for these symbols listed below each engagement: 

Disciplinary Core Idea Subjects
Science and Engineering Practices (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)
Crosscutting Concepts (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)

Next Week
  • Why is the Arctic important?
  • MOSAiC science overview
  • Check in with the Polarstern