Interesting facts 

That’s’ how Flies and Ski boots affect Research Results

The Jungfraujoch is indisputably a tourist magnet. Masses of international tourists surge from Kleine Scheidegg every year to the Jungfraujoch, which, however, does not only attract travelers, also scientists leave their imprint at the altitude of 3500 meters.

 

The glacier world around the Jungfraujoch attracted already early researchers and scientists from various disciplines. At the beginning, however, they had to be particularly weatherproof and needed mountaineering skills, since the ascent was not easy.

The construction of the Jungfrau railway, made the Jungfraujoch accessible to a multitude of scientists. With the existing railway, the hotel, and the high altitude above sea level, the Jungfraujoch became an ideal location for a High Altitude Research Station. International research teams, e.g. from the fields of meteorology, radiation research, astronomy and physiology arrived and still arrive, because the location offers unique opportunities. The central location in Europe and the connection by railway permit an easy transport of material, especially for experiments with heavy equipment. The two research buildings offer comfortable overnight accommodation, various laboratories and platforms for various measuring instruments.

At an altitude of about 3500 meters a.s.l., the Jungfraujoch rises up to air layers, which are very clean and dry and contain only a small amount of foreign substances due to the relatively large distance to industrial centers. But even here external influences cannot be avoided by hundred percent, despite the good conditions, misinterpretations can occur.

For example, once a device for the measurement of solar radiation gave unusual values. Opening the device, the evildoer was found: a small fly had strayed in there. A far more difficult task was to solve the riddle, when scientists discovered a substance which could not have existed in the pure air on the Jungfraujoch. By means of meticulous detective work one got to the bottom of the matter: the substance leaked out in small quantities from modern ski boots. Even in the almost untouched nature of the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch, the influences of civilization become visible.