Stunning Aerial Tour of the Arctic

by Nancy Atkinson on August 19, 2013

Enjoy this tour of the Arctic and Greenland, courtesy of the pilots of IceBridge, a six-year NASA mission to survey the ice at both of Earth’s poles. These views come from NASA’s P-3B aircraft, and the video is a selection of some of the best footage from the forward and nadir cameras mounted to the aircraft taken during IceBridge’s spring deployment over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean.

This airborne mission is collecting radar, laser altimetry, and other data on the changing ice sheets, glaciers, and sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. It is the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown, and it will provide an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.

Data collected during IceBridge will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) — in orbit since 2003 — and ICESat-2, planned for late 2015. ICESat stopped collecting science data in 2009, making IceBridge critical for ensuring a continuous series of observations.

Find out more about the mission and see more images and videos at the Operation IceBridge website.

Horseshoe-shaped lateral moraines at the margin of the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Lateral moraines are accumulations of debris along the sides of a glacier formed by material falling from the valley wall. Credit: NASA / Michael Studinger

Horseshoe-shaped lateral moraines at the margin of the Penny Ice Cap on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. Lateral moraines are accumulations of debris along the sides of a glacier formed by material falling from the valley wall. Credit: NASA / Michael Studinger

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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