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Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica (LIMA)

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In support of the International Polar Year (IPY 2007-2008), LIMA brings the coldest continent on Earth alive in greater detail than ever before through this virtually cloudless, seamless, and high resolution satellite view of Antarctica.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), created LIMA from more than 1,000 Landsat ETM+ scenes.

As the first major scientific outcome of the IPY, LIMA truly fulfills the IPY goals. LIMA is an international effort, supports current scientific polar research, encourages new projects, and helps the general public visualize Antarctica and changes happening to this southernmost environment. Researchers and the general public can download LIMA and all of the component Landsat scenes at no charge.

Pan to view the continent and zoom in to see the stunning detail of this Natural-Color, Pan-Sharpened LIMA (bands 3, 2, 1). LIMA covers the entire continent except from the South Pole at 90 degrees south to 82.5 degrees south latitude, where Landsat has no coverage because of its near-polar orbit. To provide a continental view, the image above has LIMA 3, 2, 1 overlaying the MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA).

The opening view includes McMurdo Station, the largest research base in Antarctica. Located at the tip of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island, McMurdo has been continually operated by the United States of America since 1956. Ross Island is roughly 72 km (45 mi) across. The flat, white areas are the Ross Ice Shelf and other sea ice off the coast of Antarctica. Also visible are the Erebus Glacier Tongue, Koettlitz and Ferrar Glaciers, and the Royal Society Range.