The picture above shows a top-down view of Antarctica, the freezing southern end of our planet. Except that it’s not a single picture. It’s a mosaic of 3150 satellite images mashed together to form one giant image.
The images were created by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, which manages the RADARSAT-2 satellite on behalf of the Canadian Space Agency. They’re hosted by the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network at the University of Waterloo, which maintains the Polar Data Catalogue, a hub for several sets of polar data.
Big changes are afoot at the north and south of the planet, thanks to climate change. Seeing Antarctica at this level of detail from space is a boon to researchers studying the phenomenon.
“Looking at Antarctica from space gives us so much more information than we could ever get from the ground,” CCIN’s information services and science manager told Fast Company. “The images can tell us what is happening in places that we have never seen and may not see for a long time.”