To the End of the Earth

The end of the Earth.  Image credit: NASA (public domain), modified by Bill Mitchell (CC-BY).
The end of the Earth. Image credit: NASA (public domain), modified by Bill Mitchell (CC-BY).

This post written March 6, 2016.

When I was in elementary school, we learned that the opposite point on the globe from the Twin Cities was in the southern Indian Ocean, far from any land. I thought to myself: it would be interesting to go to the opposite point on Earth [ed: the scientific term is antipode], but given that it’s in the middle of a vast ocean with nothing of note nearby, I’ll never see that spot.

Yet, now I am going there, the antipode of the Twin Cities, passing it on the way from Heard Island to Australia. This is as far away from home as it is possible to be without going to space. I have reached the end of the Earth, literally.

You can see that end of the Earth in the image above, taken by astronauts on the space shuttle while they were over (roughly) the antipode of the Twin Cities, at roughly the time I was thinking it would be interesting to go there.

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