Photo Friday: NASA IceBridge launches 2017 Antarctica campaigns

We’ve covered images from NASA’s Operation IceBridge on Photo Friday before. But as any good project is wont to do, they continue to release spectacular images on their main site and Twitter page. The project began its 9th year with the launch of two simultaneous campaigns. This is a first for the project, launching two flights from two continents (South America and Antarctica) at the same time, but the team hopes it will allow them to expand their coverage into East Antarctica while maintaining surveys near the Antarctic Peninsula.  

This Friday, enjoy some images of glaciers from a recent NASA IceBridge flight.

Sea ice forming off the edge of Nobile Glacier on the Antarctic Peninsula, Oct. 29, 2017 (Source: NASA/Nathan Kurtz).

 

 

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Photo Friday: Spring Arrives at the Glaciers!

The delicate Glacier Lily (Erythronium grandiflorum), which blooms just after the snow melts, is our indication that spring is here! The species is now blooming in mountainous areas like the Rocky Mountains and will continue to bloom until mid-August. The flower grows best in rich, moist soil along stream banks and in meadows. Bears, deer, elk, and ground squirrels all eat different parts of the droopy flower, also known as the Avalanche Lily. Meriwether Lewis, famous for the early 19th century Lewis and Clark expedition, mentioned the species numerous times in his 1806 journal. Historians speculate that Lewis’ interest stemmed from the flower’s status as a harbinger of spring.

See images of the Glacier Lily below.

Glacier Lilies (Source: GlacierNPS/Creative Commons)
Glacier Lilies (Source: Glacier NPS/Creative Commons).

 

Marmots playing in a Glacier Lily meadow in Montana (Source: Glacier National Park/Creative Commons).
Marmots playing in a Glacier Lily meadow in Montana (Source: Glacier National Park/Creative Commons).

 

Close up of a Glacier Lily (Source: YellowstoneNPS).
Close-up of a Glacier Lily (Source: Yellowstone NPS/Creative Commons).

 

Nature at work (Source: United States Department of Agriculture)
Nature at work (Source: United States Department of Agriculture).

 

 Glacier Lily specimen that Meriwether Lewis collected on May 8, 1806, along Idaho’s Clearwater River (Source: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia).

Glacier Lily specimen that Meriwether Lewis collected on May 8, 1806, along Idaho’s Clearwater River (Source: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia).

 

 

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Photo Friday: Glacier Tattoos

The beauty and grandeur of glaciers inspire some people to get tattoos of these natural wonders on their skin. Despite the vastness of glaciers, their presence on Earth may be less permanent than those tattoos, due to increased melting caused by global warming. The ways in which people choose to immortalize glaciers also vary. Some designs capture the simple beauty, while others focus on memories or experiences on glaciers.

See images of these fascinating tattoos below:

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A delicate inner arm tattoo of glacier-covered peaks (Source: Small Tattoos/Twitter).

 

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A tattoo inspired by Kokanee Glacier in British Columbia (Source: Ojas Cats/Twitter).

 

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A ribcage tattoo inspired by Icelandic glaciers (Source: Little Tattoos/Twitter).

 

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Before and after photos of a sleeve tattoo of a climber ascending a peak (Source: Owlcat Artists/Twitter).

 

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An upper arm tattoo of Mount Rainier (Source: Paolo Mottola Mastroianni/Flickr).

 

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A large side tattoo of a mountain range (Source: Jeff Tarinelli/Flickr).

 

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A tattoo of Tahoma’s Glaciers and the Wonderland Trail (Source: Phillip Martello).

 

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A small wrist tattoo of glaciers (Source: Station de FLAINE/Twitter).

 

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Photo Friday: Mt. Baker Glaciers

Washington is the second most-glaciated state in the United States, after Alaska. Mount Baker, located in the North Cascade Range, is an active stratovolcano that contains about 49 square kilometers of glaciers. The region is a popular skiing destination and the surrounding Skagit Valley provides a beautiful location from which to photograph glaciers.

Chris Pribbernow is an outdoor and sports photographer based in Washington. He recently captured the Skagit Valley and Mount Baker glaciers. Take a look at some of the photographs from his visits or see his other images from Washington State @PribbernowPhotography.

 

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A view of the glaciers on Mount Baker from the Skagit Valley in Washington State (Source: Chris Pribbernow)

 

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View of Mount Baker as a flock of birds takes flight (Source: Chris Pribbernow).

 

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The Skagit Valley (Source: Chris Pribbernow).

 

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Wildflowers in the valley (Source: Chris Pribbernow).

 

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Mt. Baker, with farmland in the foreground (Source: Chris Pribbernow).
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NASA’s IceBridge Project- More Than Just a Pretty Image

NASA’s IceBridge project looks at Earth’s polar regions in the largest ever collection of images taken from air.

Greenland’s Steenstrup Glacier
Greenland’s Steenstrup Glacier with the Denmark Straight in the background (Source: NASA’s IceBridge Project).

As NASA states, “These flights will provide a yearly, multi-instrument look at the behavior of the rapidly changing features of the Greenland and Antarctic ice.”

This image shows the calving of the Sermeq Kujatdleg glacier in Greenland
This image shows the calving of the Sermeq Kujatdleg glacier in Greenland (Source: NASA’s IceBridge Project).
fjord of Violin Glacier
Taken May 19th, 2016 of the fjord of Violin Glacier (Source: NASA’s IceBridge Project).

The speed of ice and glacial melt continues to surprise scientists. This project will provide a unique and informative three-dimensional view.

Currently information is being collected by regional observation and satellite data collected from NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat).  Being able to pair this data with the new three-dimensional images could lead to crucial advances in the field.

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Miles of sea ice (Source: NASA’s IceBridge Project).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Friday: Imaginary Mountains

When we think of imaginary mountains, we often think of dream-like peaks and impossible journeys. Throughout history, painters, writers, and adventurers have portrayed mountains as powerful illusions.

In The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau captures the ethereal qualities of mountains that inspire such human flights of fancy:

I lost myself quite in the upper air and clouds, seeming to pass an imaginary line which separates a hill, mere earth heaped up, from a mountain, into a superterranean grandeur and sublimity…unhandselled, awful, grand. It can never become familiar; you are lost the moment you set foot there. You know no path, but wander, thrilled, over the bare and pathless rock, as if it were solidified air and cloud.”

Be inspired by this collection of imaginary mountains from artists around the web.

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An imaginary snow-covered mountain at sunrise (Source: Yongbing).

 

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Snow-covered imaginary peaks on a clear day (Source: Ata Haghdar).

 

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An adventurer and his dog wander across an imaginary peak (Source: Sergey Grechanyuk).

 

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An adventurer climbing a misty peak (Source: Waqas Malik Patreon).

 

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A rainstorm covers imaginary peaks (Source: Berner JC).
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Photo Friday: Washington State Glaciers

Over winter break from my PhD program in Arizona, I traveled to Washington State to visit my partner’s family and see old friends. While there, the strong El Nino event affecting global weather this year contributed to persistent high pressure in the region– causing unusual clear blue skies for days on end. The rare winter clarity provided unprecedented views of the region’s beautiful glaciers.

Washington State is home to some of the country’s youngest and tallest mountains– the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. The Olympic Range was created by the movement of the Cascadia subduction zone millions of years ago, while the Cascade range, made up of active volcanic peaks, is driven by the same tectonic subduction. Puget Sound and islands in it, which separate the two mountain ranges, are the remnants of glacial valleys and moraines that were created during the last ice age.

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Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com

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Photo Friday: Malaspina Glacier as Seen From Space

The Malaspina Glacier, in Southeastern Alaska, is the largest piedmont glacier on Earth. Because of its size, the glacier can only be photographed in its entirety from space. Most of the pictures we have of the glacier come from NASA.

Piedmont glaciers are flat glaciers that occur when ice that was previously trapped by mountain valleys is able to spread out onto lowlands. The glacier moves in surges that push dirt and rocks outward into expanding concentric patterns, which creates the visible lines in the glacier.

The Malaspina Glacier covers a land area of more than 3,900 square kilometers or about 1,500 square miles.

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Photo Friday: Glaciers from above

 

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this picture of the space shuttle Atlantis' STS-132 mission as it flew over a glacier in Chile and Argentina. (NASA)
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this picture of the space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-132 mission as it flew over a glacier in Chile and Argentina. (NASA)

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station took this picture of the space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-132 mission as it flew over a glacier in Chile and Argentina. (NASA)

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The Siachen glacier as seen in 2011. The 76 km long glacier is sometimes called a “white snake”.

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