Blog | October 28, 2009, 17:00 PDT

Pick of the pics

Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

Byrd Glacier, Antarctica

Named after the American polar explorer Richard Evelyn Byrd, the Byrd Glacier is a major glacier in Antarctica, about 15 miles (24 km) wide and 100 miles (160 km) long. It is known as an outlet glacier because it is a "tongue" of the main ice sheet and extends into the ocean. It plunges through a deep valley in the Transantarctic Mountains and drops more than 4300 ft (1300 m) over a distance of 112 miles (180 km) as it flows into the Ross Ice Shelf. The fast-moving stream is one of the largest contributors to the shelf's total ice volume.

This image was taken in January 2000 by Landsat 7, an Earth-observing satellite that was launched into orbit in 1999.

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