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Shedding light in the dark: radar satellites lead the way

16 December 2019

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Spare a thought this Christmas for researchers hunkered down on their Polarstern icebreaker, adrift in the frozen Arctic Ocean. Subjected to temperatures as low as –45°C and the perpetual darkness of the polar winter, they are willing participants in MOSAiC – the world's largest and longest polar research expedition. Despite the darkness, however, the researchers and crew remain aware of what is happening close by. How? With the help of radar imaging satellites.

Over the course of one year, a total of some 600 researchers from 20 countries will take part in different stages of the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (or MOSAiC) expedition.

Source: ESA

Image credit: JAXA - Radar image from Japan's ALOS-2 satellite of the sea ice near the Polarstern icebreaker.

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