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Image of the week: DMC tracks giant iceberg

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This 30km x 14km iceberg calved off the Petermann glacier in Northwest Greenland in early August
Credit: DMC

This composite image shows the movement of an iceberg in Northwest Greenland. The 30km x 14km iceberg calved off the Petermann glacier in Northwest Greenland in early August. It is floating away from the Petermann glacier and will enter into the Nares Strait, which separates Greenland from the Ellesmere Island in Canada. This strait is usually navigable by ice-breakers but this year further monitoring of the giant iceberg will be required. Similar, smaller calving events occurred in summer of 2008 and 2009 but this iceberg is currently the largest in the northern hemisphere.

UK-DMC-2 and its five siblings in the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) of satellites are able to provide daily imaging of environmental events around the world. The DMC satellites use specially designed Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) imaging payloads to image the Earth at resolutions between 2.5m and 32m. The first satellite in the series, UK-DMC, was jointly funded by the UK Space Agency (formerly known as BNSC) and SSTL through the £15M MOSAIC programme. Subsequently, eight more satellites have been developed on a fully commercial basis.

Page last updated: 31 January 2011 by the UK Space Agency