Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Unseen Antarctica's Beauty

After waiting for over two weeks for his mate to return from the sea and relieve him of nest duty, this Adelie penguin's hunger helps him make the decision to abandon his egg in search of fish and krill in the sea. Photo taken December 12, 2002. Known populations of the Adelie penguin have dropped by 65% over the past 25 years.

A killer whale (viewed from above) swims amid floating ice in the Ross Sea in January of 2005. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Southwest Fisheries Science Center were studying the whales to determine if there are three separate species of Antarctic killer whales.


Palmer Station seen from the ocean on June 10, 2006. Palmer Station is the smallest of the three U.S. Antarctic Program research stations, located on Anvers Island, near the Antarctic Peninsula.


A molting emperor penguin seen on January 3, 2007.

Sculptured iceberg in North Bay, Rothera Point, Adelaide Island, Antarctica.

The Calkin Glacier, seen on November, 2003. The glacier is located in the Taylor Valley in Victoria Land, named for Parker Calkin, US Antarctic Program geologist who conducted research in the area during the 1960-61 and 1961-62 field seasons.

The aurora australis over the Dark Sector at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on June 3, 2008. The Dark Sector is so-named due to the absence of light and radio wave interfence. The bright spot above the ground shield in the foreground is Jupiter. The white streaks of light going up are the Milky Way.

Penguins on a massive iceberg near the Antarctic Peninsula on November 28, 2003.

Nacreous clouds near McMurdo, Ross Island, Antarctica on August 28, 2004. These polar stratospheric clouds at 80,000 feet are the highest of all clouds. They only occur in the polar regions when the stratospheric temperature dips below 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. They are also the site of chemical reactions that break down ozone in the upper atmosphere and contribute to the creation of the ozone hole above Antarctica.

A balancing stone seen on the Dufek Massif in the Pensacola Mountains of Antarctica on January 18, 2007.

An aurora over the Elevated Station at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on July 16, 2008.

The northern edge of the giant iceberg B-15A seen on January 29, 2001.

A view of the Antarctic coast from the Research Vessel NATHANIEL B. PALMER in April of 2007.

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