Unique Antarctica satellite map created

March 8, 2007 at 8:26 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have created what is said to be the most detailed, high-resolution map ever produced of Antarctica.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration researchers, along with U.S. Geological Survey scientists, have woven together more than a thousand images from the Landsat 7 satellite to create The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica, offering views of the coldest continent on Earth in 10 times greater detail than previously possible.

"These images give us incredibly detailed views of the Antarctic ice sheet surface and serve as maps for many locations that have never been mapped before," said Robert Bindschadler, chief scientist at NASA's Laboratory for Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

"The resolution sensitivity of the Landsat sensor is well beyond that of even the most state-of-the-art digital camera," he added.

The researchers, in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, have launched a Web site with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation to offer public access to the image mosaic.

The site contains original images and close-ups of various areas of Antarctica, all available for download at http://lima.usgs.gov

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