"These images give us incredibly detailed views of the Antarctic ice sheet surface and serve as maps for many locations that have never been mapped before," said Robert Bindschadler, chief scientist of the Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. Bindschadler oversaw the selection of the scenes used to create the mosaic.
Researchers at NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, have launched a Web site with support from the National Science Foundation to offer public access to the image mosaic. This site contains original images and close-ups of various areas of Antarctica, all available for download. The research group will continue to release images through this summer.
"The resolution sensitivity of the Landsat sensor is well beyond that of even the most state-of-the-art digital camera," Bindschadler said. "It's able to record subtle variations in the ice sheet's surface that tell us more about ice sheet features, the flow of the ice sheet and changes in the ice sheet's surface."
According to Bindschadler, researchers will have special interest in the new ability to zoom in on areas like Antarctica's dry valleys that lie between the ice sheets. To date, only aerial images of these locations were possible. The carefully collaged images that compose LIMA now provide clear, high-resolution images.
Through special processing of images captured by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus sensor, scientists were able to produce a true color, nearly cloud-free view of Antarctica. For the process, researchers use specialized software to stack several images of various Antarctic locations to create one larger image. The researchers also arranged the images on top of one another in a sequence that allows clear views to the surface, removing the effects of clouds contained in some images.
"Having this capability is quite exciting. Using the Web portal, scientists as well as students, teachers and others will be able to zoom in to a specific Antarctic region and adjust for various levels of detail," said Bindschadler. "This will be like having a room with a tremendous view, a detailed view from space aboard Landsat to peer down as if you were just above the ice sheet's surface."
LIMA is one of more than 228 projects funded in conjunction with the International Polar Year, an initiative 63 cooperating countries launched in March to improve scientific understanding of Earth's polar regions.
The U.S. Geological Survey manages the NASA-designed Earth-observing satellites of the Landsat Program, first launched in 1972. During the past three decades, Landsat sensors have captured two million high-resolution digital photographs of Earth's continents and surrounding coastal regions, enabling scientists to study various aspects of the planet.To view LIMA images on the Antarctic Portal, visit:
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy