Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean - Earth.com

Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Elephant Island, a mountainous, ice-covered island located in the Southern Ocean about 150 miles northeast of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

In 1915, British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crewmates lost their ship, the HMS Endurance, when it was crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea.

The men spent months drifting on the Southern Ocean in small lifeboats until they finally spotted Elephant Island – a nickname that was supposedly created by the expedition crew: “Hell-of-an-Island.”

The rocky island has only a small amount of plants and animals, such as seals and gentoo and chinstrap penguins, and hosts one small research station occupied during the summer. Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean.

This Island is an ice-covered, mountainous island off the coast of Antarctica in the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands, in the Southern Ocean. The island is situated 245 kilometres (152 miles) north-northeast of the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, 1,253 kilometres (779 miles) west-southwest of South Georgia, 935 kilometres (581 miles) south of the Falkland Islands, and 885 kilometres (550 miles) southeast of Cape Horn. It is within the Antarctic claims of Argentina, Chile and the United Kingdom.

The Brazilian Antarctic Program maintains a shelter on the island, Goeldi, supporting the work of up to six researchers each during the summer,[1] and formerly had another (Wiltgen), which was dismantled in the summers of 1997 and 1998.

The image was captured on December 13, 2020 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. 

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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