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Frozen, Hard to Reach, and Worth It

This photo was taken out the window of a NASA DC-8 research aircraft from 2,000 feet above the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica on Oct. 21, 2009. (Image credit: NASA/Jane Peterson)

A recent photo captured by a NASA research airplane shows a giant iceberg in the Antarctic.

The photo, taken Oct. 21, was part of the space agency's Operation Ice Bridge airborne Earth science mission to study ice sheets, sea ice, and ice shelves at the bottom of the world.

Studying things down there is hard, because of the harsh conditions. In the first two weeks of the program, two flights were scrubbed at the last minute due to snow at the airport in southernmost Chile.

Halfway through 17 planned flights, as of Oct. 27, here's what researchers have flown over: three flights over glaciers, two over sea ice, one over the Getz ice shelf, and one to study the topography of the ice sheet on the mission's closest approach to the South Pole.

We figured you'd just enjoy the picture.

Live Science Staff
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