Giant icebergs named B15K and A66. In early August 2016, NASA’s Aqua satellite flew over the South Atlantic Ocean and spotted two bright white icebergs visible between broad banks of cloud. This true-color image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard that satellite on August 8.
The needle-shaped iceberg floating the west is named B15K and originated as part of a giant iceberg that calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. Dubbed B15, the iceberg was the world’s largest recorded iceberg since satellite monitoring (and accurate measurements) began. It measured over 11,000 square kilometers in size, which was larger than the island of Jamaica and slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Connecticut.
Over the next several years the massive iceberg began to break into smaller pieces, which were named alphabetically as they broke away. B15K separated from a B15A – a large fragment of the original iceberg – late in 2003 and has been drifting in the waters near Antarctica since that time. As of August 12, the U.S. National Ice Center reported that B15K measured 6.9 mi (11.1 km) by 3.5 mi (5.6 km) and was located at 55°06’S latitude and 43°50’W longitude.
To the east of B15K the rounder and slightly larger iceberg known as A66 floats at 55°17’S latitude and 40°00’W longitude. As of August 12, 2016 it measured 8 mi (12.9 km) by 4.6 mi (7.4 km). Both icebergs are in waters also known as the Bellingshausen Sea, between western Antarctica and South America.