Picture of the Day: Close-Up View of a Giant Split in the Antarctic Ice

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Ever since spotting a split in the Pine Island Glacier this past October, NASA scientists have been keeping a close eye on things, waiting to see if during this Antarctic summer, a large piece of ice would break apart. So far, the ice has held together, and may continue to do so through the southern winter. The crack, which scientists believe first appeared in early October, has an average width of 240 feet, but is 820 feet at its widest. The icy canyon ranges between 165 and 190 feet deep. NASA scientists believe that the ice shelf is 1,640 feet thick, most of which is below the waters of the Amundsen Sea. The Pine Island Glacier has calved significant icebergs twice since 2000, once in 2001 and again in 2007.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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