Drygalski Ice Tongue, Antarctica

Drygalski Ice Tongue, Antarctica
December 5, 2012
CreditImage taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper instrument onboard the Landsat-7 satellite. Source: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landsat Missions Gallery, "Louisiana Silt," U.S. Department of the Interior / USGS.
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This image, taken on January 21, 2005, shows a collision between two of the largest floating objects in the world, the Drygalski Ice Tongue and iceberg "B15-A" in Antarctica (B15-A is on the right). The 43-mile- (70-kilometer-) long Drygalski Ice Tongue juts out from the icy land of Antarctica into McMurdo Sound like a pier, and is a floating extension of the land-based David Glacier. B15-A, 75 miles (120 kilometers) long, had been drifting slowly towards Drygalski for months before this image was taken. The presence of B15-A complicated supply trips to the nearby McMurdo science base and endangered penguins in the area by blocking their access to open sea. The perspective we get from space allows us to see the scale and scope of changes to these massive bodies of ice that we could not see in any other way.