ICESat-2 detects ice elevation differences within centimeters

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory shows the contrasting ice elevation across the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.

The image of the icy terrain was captured by NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2).

When it was launched in September 2018, ICESat-2 became the highest-resolution laser altimeter ever operated from space.

The satellite can measure the height of Earth’s surfaces, including sea ice, in remarkable detail. In fact, ICESat-2 can detect ice elevation differences down to a few centimeters.

“We know a lot less about the sea ice in the Antarctic than the Arctic,” said NASA scientist Ron Kwok. “We can see so much more detail than we have seen before.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


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