Antarctica’s Tallest Peak Captured, North Pole Not So Much


Antarctica is our planet’s southernmost continent and home to the South Pole, permanent manned research stations, penguins and an occasional adventure cruise ship expedition. This time of year, a lot of attention traditionally goes to Earth’s North Pole, home of Santa and the gang. But NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory recently passed over Antarctica’s tallest peak, Mount Vinson, as we see in this photo.

On October 22, 2012, during a flight over the continent to measure changes in the massive ice sheet and sea ice, NASA captured this image as part of its ongoing program.NASA’s Airborne Science Program at the University of North Dakota manages operations of NASA’s DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory aircraft, which collects data for the world’s scientific community. The DC-8 flies three primary missions: sensor development, satellite sensor verification and basic research studies of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere.

Operation IceBridge is a multi-year airborne campaign to watch changes in the Earth’s polar ice caps in both the Antarctic and Arctic. Mount Vinson is located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica.

The North and South poles are the two points where the Earth’s axis of rotation intersects with its surface. While the South pole actually exists in a physical place on Antarctica, the North Pole is really in the middle of the Arctic Ocean in waters covered with sea ice almost year-round … except for around Christmas time when Santa, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and elves are busy with the holidays.

NASA has tried repeatedly to photograph Santa’s home but cannot come up with more than an image of ice and snow.

“NASA’s Terra satellite was able to piece together a number of images it took to give us a complete look at the North Pole, which is usually very difficult to see by satellites, so Santa can keep his exact location secret,” says NASA captioning this Flickr photo.

[Photo Credit: NASA]

Photo Of The Day: Eye Of The Beholder

photo of the day
This Photo of the Day, taken in Arches National Park, Utah is titled “Eye of the Beholder” and comes from Gadling Flickr pool member Terra_Tripper

Arches National Park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, pinnacles, fins and giant balanced rocks. Located just outside of Moab, Utah, the 76,679 acre red rock wonderland was originally a National Monument then redesignated as a National Park.

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as Photos of the Day.”

Tips for getting featured: Include the camera you used along with any other equipment or processing software that might help other photographers know more about your image.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user Terra_Tripper]

Photo of the Day (08/06/07)

Taken in Hendaye Beach in France, this photo makes me remember that the south of France is not just Cannes, Nice and the Cote d’Azur. The Atlantic Coast is so much more serene than the Mediterranean (and so much closer to the great wine region of Bordeaux!)

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Terra.

***If you’d like to contribute a Photo of the Day for consideration, please visit our Gadling Flickr pool and upload your favorites.***