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SCI/TECH: Get Ready for the Largest Demolition Derby on the Planet

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posted on Jan, 11 2005 @ 03:35 AM
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The 100 mile long B-15A iceberg, which is roughly the size of Rhode Island, is forecast to collide wtih the Drygalski Ice tongue on January 15, 2005. The best place to witness it would be space. There is the possibility that if B-15A iceberg picks up speed before the collision that the Drygalsk Ice Tongue could break off.
 


nasa.gov
It is an event so large that the best seat in the house is in space: a massive iceberg is on a collision course with a floating glacier near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica. NASA satellites have witnessed the 100-mile-long B-15A iceberg moving steadily towards the Drygalski Ice Tongue.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Iceberg B-15A is causing problems for the McMurdo Sound, trapping ice that typically breaks off. This causes wildlife, especially penguins to swim long distances for open water and food. The starvation of young penguins is a possibility, as their parents are too old to make the trip.

If the iceberg breaks off the Drygalski Ice Tongue it could open the way for trapped ice to escape the sound and make it easier for wildlife to get to open waters.

There is a short animation on the site provided that, if the satellites are able to catch the collision, tells you what we could possibly see when and if these two masses collide.





posted on Jan, 26 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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And here's an update:




From Nasa.gov

Car demolition derbies last minutes, but when it comes to a giant iceberg near Antarctica it takes a bit longer. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Terra and Aqua satellites captured images of iceberg B-15A steaming a steady course towards the extended Drygalski Ice Tongue and scientists expected the Long Island, NY sized berg to initiate a colossal collision by January 15. Instead B15A appears to have grounded on a submarine shoal when it was just 2.5 miles from the glacier. Continued observations of the area on the eve of what is expected to be renewed iceberg movements have shown a sudden break up sea ice around the iceberg.

The image also reveals that the B-15A iceberg has drifted away from the Drygalski Ice Tongue. The massive iceberg had been on course to strike the ice tongue in what could have been a collision of giants. The Drygalski Ice Tongue is a floating extension of a land-based glacier. Such ice tongues have been known to break under smaller strains, and according to NASA scientist Robert Bindschadler, the Drygalski Ice Tongue has never experienced a blow of the magnitude that B-15A could deliver. The iceberg had been moving steadily towards the ice tongue, but its movement slowed in late December. Just as the gap between the two narrowed to less than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) , the iceberg rotated slightly and may have become grounded. By January 13, the gap widened as the iceberg appeared to reverse its course, perhaps in response to being grounded, says Bindschadler.



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