Antarctica

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Antarctica 6400px from Blue Marble
By Dave Pape [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Description: Antarctica. An orthographic projection of NASA’s Blue Marble data set (1 km resolution global satellite composite). “MODIS observations of polar sea ice were combined with observations of Antarctica made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s AVHRR sensor—the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer.” Image was generated using a custom C program for handling the Blue Marble files, with orthographic projection formulas from MathWorld.
Note: this image has been manually modified to fill in an area of black pixels in the ocean, in the upper right quadrant. The black pixels are presumed to be due to missing data in the land/sea mask used in making the original Blue Marble image.

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Antarctica
By Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica team, NASA
Photo Description: Transantarctic Mountains, West Antarctica, East Antarctica
extracted from http://lima.nasa.gov/pdf/A3_overview.pdf

Like the Arctic, Antarctica is extremely cold and starkly beautiful. Ice and snow also dominate its landscape. However, the climate of Antarctica can be colder and harsher than that of the Arctic. According to NASA Science, a high ridge in the East Antarctic Plateau earned the title of “coldest place on Earth” when the temperature in this region dropped to -136°F (-93.2°C) on August 10, 2010. The United States Arctic Program website even describes Antarctica as “the coldest, windiest, harshest continent” and further notes that “with little precipitation (roughly 2 inches per year) [it] is the driest place on earth.”

Sastrugi

By Bill McAfee for the National Science Foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

The Dome at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is framed by ridges of snow called sastrugi.

Date: 29 October 2003

Source: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/11/scenes_from_antarctica.html

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Photograph By: Janice O’Reilly, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

Small icebergs near Palmer Station.

Date Taken: June 30, 2012

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Photograph By: Dave Munroe, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

An iceberg near the Antarctic Peninsula.

Date Taken: October 24, 2011

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Photograph By: Kelly Jacques, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

An iceberg near Palmer Station, Antarctica.

Date Taken: April 21, 2010

Mt. Herschel, Antarctica, Jan 2006

By Andrew Mandemaker (Photo taken by Andrew Mandemaker.) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

Mt Herschel (3335m asl) from Cape Hallet with Seabee Hook penguin colony in Foreground. Antarctica.

Date: 20 January 2006

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By Joe Mastroianni, National Science Foundation (From Antarctic Photo Library: LAKEFRYXELL.JPG) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Photo Description:

Antarctica: The blue ice covering Lake Fryxell, in the Transantarctic Mountains, comes from glacial meltwater from the Canada Glacier and other smaller glaciers. The freshwater stays on top of the lake and freezes, sealing in briny water below.

Date: 10 December 2002

Few life forms live in this polar desert. Life on the land consists of microscopic animals, insects, algae, lichens, moss, and a few flowering plants. There is more life in the sea, including fish, squid, seals, penguins, and other seabirds.

Antarctic, sea lion (js) 64

By Jerzy Strzelecki

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Photo Description:

Antarctica, Antarctic Fur Seal

Date: January 2000

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Photograph By: Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

Adelie penguins hang out one ice floes near a lead in the sea ice at Cape Royds, which is the southernmost breeding grounds in the world for Antarctica’s iconic seabird. Fewer than 2,000 breeding pairs return to the colony each year during the summer to lay eggs and raise chicks. The colonies at Cape Royds and other nearby locations around the Ross Sea are the subject of a long-term population dynamics study. For more information, see http://www.penguinscience.com.

Date Taken: January 2, 2013

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Photograph By: Clair Von Handorf, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

A Snowy Sheathbill and a spectacular sunset near Palmer Station.

Date Taken: August 22, 2012

Because of its harsh climate and remote location, only small numbers of people have lived in or around Antarctica. The first early settlements of Antarctica were located on South Georgia, an island off the coast of Antarctica. It was not until the 19th century that people explored the Antarctic continent itself. In the past, most of the people living in Antarctica were hunters and explorers. Today, most of the people living there are researchers and support workers who operate government research stations for the United States, Britain, Australia, and several other countries.

The Southern Party

probably  by James Murray (1865–1914)

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Photo Description:

Left to right – Wild, Shackleton, Marshall, Adams. The four members of the party that set out to attempt to become the first to reach the South pole, they were defeated by the weather, but also a lack of supplies and suitable equipment just 97 miles from the South Pole, a point they reached on January the 9th 1909. Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) British Imperial Antarctic Expedition “Nimrod – Expedition”, 1907 -1909

Date: 1909

“The Heart of the Antarctic”, Volume I, by E. H. Shackleton, 1909. P. 364. Downloaded from http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/History/images/shackleton_the_pole_party.htm Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.

Aan de Zuidpool – p1913-160

By Olav Bjaaland

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Photo Description taken from “Antarctica” Wikipedia Entry:

Roald Amundsen and his crew looking at the Norwegian flag at the South Pole, 1911

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Photograph By: August Allen, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

Pine Island Glacier field camp staff attempt to excavate a mountain tent that collapsed during a wind storm. Pine Island Glacier, also known as PIG, is one of the fastest receding glaciers in the Antarctic and one of the main contributors to rising sea levels. The ice shelf that fronts the glacier is thinning, which allows the glacier to move toward the sea faster. A team of scientists visited the region during the 2012-13 field season to send instruments through the ice shelf to see how the water below may be thinning the ice. For more information, see the website, http://pigiceshelf.nasa.gov/.

Date Taken: December 4, 2012

Ceremonial South Pole

By NSF/Josh Landis, employee 1999-2001

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Photo Description:

The ceremonial marker at the South Pole is surrounded by flags of the original signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty. The original signing nations were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. The treaty was signed on 1 December 1959 in Washington, D.C.

Date: 1999

Source: http://photolibrary.usap.gov/Portscripts/PortWeb.dll?query&field1=Filename&op1=matches&value=cer3.JPG&catalog=Antarctica&template=USAPgovMidThumbs (direct link)

Amundsen-Scott marsstation ray h edit (retouched photo)

Photo by Chris Danals, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

 A full moon and 25 second exposure allowed sufficient light into this photo taken at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station during the long Antarctic night. The new station can be seen at far left, power plant in the center and the old mechanic’s garage in the lower right. Red lights are used outside during the winter darkness as their spectrum does not pollute the sky, allowing scientists to conduct astrophysical studies without artificial light interference. There is a background of green light. This is the Aurora Australis, which dances thorugh the sky virtually all the time during the long Antarctic night (winter).The photo’s surreal appearance makes the station look like a futuristic Mars Station.

Date: July 2005

The passage of time has not diminished the otherworldly quality of Antarctica. Many mysteries linger underneath its sea ice as well as the vast Antarctic ice sheet that blankets this 14 million sq. km. (5.4 million sq. mi.) continent, including the fossilized remains of a subtropical forest and a sub-glacial valley that Forbes reporter William Pentland describes as “deeper than the Grand Canyon.”

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Photograph By: Rob Robbins, National Science Foundation

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Photo Description:

A diver ascends to the bottom of the sea ice at the Cape Evans Wall, a popular dive site for scientists in McMurdo Sound.

Date Taken: December 6, 2005

Sources:
“The Coldest Place in the World” – NASA Science
“About the Continent” – United States Antarctic Program
“Antarctica” – Wikipedia
“Secrets of Antarctica’s fossilised forests” by Howard Falcon-Lang — BBC News Science & Environment
“Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon” by William Pentland — Forbes

5 thoughts on “Antarctica

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