Real Science + Animated GIF = Awesomeness

By Jamie Condliffe on at

NASA satelite imaging has revealed that a massive crack in Antartica's Pine Island glacier is growing fast. Which is bad. But the GIF it's made is so good it almost makes up for it.

NASA restarted its Antarctic science flights last week, and one of the things it's been desperate to check out is the state of the Pine Island Glacier, which is known to have a big crack in it. Turns out that the crack is in fact now 18 miles long, growing fast, and looks like it could be the start of a process which sees the ice shelf break in two, forming a massive iceberg in the process.

This GIF is created using data from the MODIS instruments on NASA's Aqua and Terra spacecraft and the synthetic aperture radar instrument aboard the TerraSAR-X satellite operated by the German Aerospace Center. It might bring bad news with it—but it looks kinda pretty in the process. Look at that thing grow. [NASA]