Antarctic Night 2019


Last year i mentioned that the USGS had recently extended recording of nighttime images with Landsat at high latitudes in summer and also showed some examples from the northern summer for this.

For the southern summer we also get more nighttime images now so i put together some new image mosaics following up on the first one i showed in 2013.

All of these straddle the day/night boundary so the sun is above the horizon in parts of the image and below in others – due to the time differences in recording as well as earth curvature. This way they are similar to the sunrise image i showed in 2015 – which is one of my most popular Antarctic images. That image however was a sunrise image from the start of the Antarctic summer these are all evening (sunset) images from late in the season when the length of the days becomes shorter and the time of sunset coincides with the nighttime recording window. See also similar images i showed from EO-1 in 2017.

The first mosaic is from the McMurdo Sound area just like the 2013 image – but later in the season – so less sea ice, and with a lower sun position.

The second image is of the Lambert Glacier and Amery Ice Shelf. South is on the left in this image – approximately where the sun is coming from.

There are multiple interesting features in this image – like this inverse ice tongue extending into a bay that is otherwise surrounded by mountains blocking the ice.

On the glacier you can see quite extensive melting pools. The whole area, especially further away from the coast, is one of the sunniest parts of the Antarctic so at lower elevations there is quote extensive surface melting taking place on the glacier.

And finally here an image from the Antarctic Peninsula. This is in somewhat unusual orientation with north on the lower right – to match the recording direction of the satellite and for an intuitive lighting direction.

Also here two larger crops – the first shows the edge of the iceberg A-68 – which broke off in 2017 and is visible in the lower left of the mosaic with a number of smaller icebergs.

The second one is from the ridge of the peninsula with glaciers flowing to both sides and the low sun illuminating the mountain faces.

All of the images are available in the catalog on

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