Earth From Space: Ice Floes off of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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Astronauts on board the International Space Station took this photo of ice floes along the southeastern coastline of Russia Kamchatka Peninsula. The irregular coastline creates large circular eddies that are very dangerous to navigate by boat, meaning that the vantage point of space is our best opportunity for seeing and studying these floes. At the picture's bottom center, a patch of ground appears darker than the surrounding areas. That is the Karymsky Volcano, and, based on this picture, scientists believe it likely produced an ash plume in the days before this picture was taken, darkening or melting the snow around it.

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Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/earth-from-space-ice-floes-off-of-russias-kamchatka-peninsula/255929/