Satellite pictures of Antarctica

"When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either."    — Leo Burnett.
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Weather Pictures

Dumont d'Urville, France McMurdo, USA TerraNova, Italy Dome C, France-Italy

Satellite picture of east Antarctica

This satellite picture shows about ¼ of Antarctica. It was taken by the NOAA-12 satellite, one of two NOAA satellite with a near-polar orbit. The picture is in the optical band. The coast line and the location of some stations has been added. You can click on the station you want details on.

Storm off the shore of Antarctica

One of the classic big depression storm off the shore of Antarctica. There's about one of those each week, they move eastwards all around the continent, but never above it (there is a continuous high pressure condition). Those depressions are what makes crossing the roaring 40s such a dangerous adventure... On the Antarctic side, they can trigger the start of a catabatic wind that will last long after the depression itself is gone.

Satellite picture of a Loewe phenomenon

Satellite picture of a Loewe phenomenon. It is some kind of catabatic flow jump, quite visible here as the white line near the shoreline. The fast continental wind breaks down suddenly when getting to a place with a sudden slope variation. The wind upstream is very fast, but very slow downstream and in between there is a visible wall of snow, hundreds of meters high. At Dumont d'Urville we observed it several times between our island and the continent, moving back and forth and eventually reaching us, bringing the storm to us. A lot of sea-ice is also visible here.

Satellite picture of Adelie Land

The NOAA satellite have 5 different optical bands, 3 of which are in the optical range, and 2 in infrared. Here is a picture in the infrared band of water vapor, shown with a colored palette, taken on december 24th 1997. Pass the mouse over the picture to compare it with the optical band. Clouds are very apparent in IR, while the sea-ice is visible only in optical.

Satellite picture of Adelie Land

Picture taken on February 24th 1998. Click on the following buttons to view the different channels and their association as a false RGB picture:

Satellite picture of Adelie Land

On this picture taken on my departure day, all 5 channels are visible as B&W images. The little red cross is DdU. The large depression visible on the north-east gave us a rough ride on the first two days on the ship. Click bellow to view the different channels:

I have more satellite pictures of Antarctica taken by a Radar Satellite.


For some other samples of satellite pictures of ice, go to the origin of it all: NASA itself.