Science Art: Mt. Balfour, Antarctica, by NASA/Joe MacGregor

NASA/Joe MacGregorClick to embiggen

This photo is part of NASA’s IceBridge mission, an airborne survey of polar ice, which completed an eighth consecutive Antarctic deployment on Nov. 18 of this year.

From the NASA Image Gallery:

Antarctica is heading into austral summer, a period of rapid sea ice melt in the Southern Ocean. But this year the sea ice loss has been particularly swift and the Antarctic sea ice extent is currently at the lowest level for this time of year ever recorded in the satellite record, which began in 1979. IceBridge expanded its reach this year, covering a vast swath of Antarctica – from the Ruppert Coast in West Antarctica to Recovery Glacier in the eastern half of the continent, plus the Weddell and Bellingshausen seas. Additionally, IceBridge flew twice over the South Pole, an area rarely measured since satellites don’t overfly it.

Mount Balfour is a handsome mountain, isn’t it? This is not to be confused with the “king of the Wapta,” stradding the Continental Divide in North America, nor with Balfour Mount, the “father of palliative care in North America.”

Nor is it a command.

No, this one is named for Henry Balfour, a former president of the Royal Geographical Society.