Statuette of an Enthroned Figure

1st century A.D.


Bronze, silver inlay

15.5 x 8.1 x 9.5 cm (6 1/8 x 3 3/8 x 3 3/4 in.)

This statuette is thought to depict Concordia, the Roman personification of harmony, one of the four principal virtues of the Roman Empire. Concordia sits on a high-backed throne and wears an ornamental headband, a long tunic tied above her waist, and a cloak, which drapes over her left shoulder and lap. The figure likely held a libation dish in her extended right hand and a cornucopia (horn of plenty) in her missing left hand.

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Bouncing Sun

Concordia research station in the heart of Antarctica is a place of extremes. During the summer months the Sun never sets below the horizon whereas during the winter the Sun is not seen for four months. One thing is for sure though: the temperature never rises above 0°C, with temperatures of –60°C quite common during the darker months.

Eoin Macdonald-Nethercott spent a large part of 2010 and 2011 running ESA experiments in Concordia. In his free time he took enough pictures to stitch together this panorama charting the summer Sun over 24 hours taken over multiple days.

ESA sponsors a medical doctor to spend a year on the base conducting research into isolation and stress in multicultural crews – living on Concordia is so remote it is like living on another planet in many respects. No supplies can be flown in and for months each year the crew can rely on no outside help.

Image credit & copyright: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-E. Macdonald-Nethercott