16 Awe-Inspiring Photos Of Polar Ice From NASA’s Operation IceBridge

We usually equate NASA with missions all over the galaxy except here on Earth, but the fact is, NASA conducts plenty of research at home, too. Take Operation IceBridge, for example. IceBridge is a six-year NASA mission and the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever flown. Data collected during the flights will help scientists bridge the gap in polar observations between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and ICESat-2, planned for 2018. The mission will also yield an unprecedented three-dimensional view of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets, ice shelves and sea ice. But for now, it’s just a great source of cool photos of polar ice. Check out some of our favorites below and see more at NASA.

Rift in Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf
NASA/John Sonntag

Getz Ice Shelf
NASA/Jeremy Harbeck
Mt. Balfour, Antarctica
NASA/Joe MacGregor
Fleming Glacier, Antarctica
NASA / Michael Studinger
Sea Ice in Bellingshausen Sea
NASA/Digital Mapping System
Pressure ridges on the sea ice near Scott Base
Michael Studinger
Alaska’s Brooks Range
NASA / Michael Studinger
Baffin Island, Canada
NASA/Michael Studinger
Alaskan Mountains
NASA/Goddard/Christy Hansen
Antarctic Sea Ice
Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica
NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team
Antarctic Sea Ice
NASA/Jane Peterson
Arctic Sea Ice
NASA/Operation IceBridge
DHC-3 Otter surveys mountain glaciers in Alaska
NASA/Chris Larsen, University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Palmer Station, Antarctica
NASA/John Arvesen
Fjord in East Greenland
NASA/Michael Studinger