A gigantic piece of ice recently broke off an ice shelf in Antarctica and is currently the largest iceberg in the world. The iceberg, nicknamed A-76, measures approximately 4,320 square kilometers (1,670 square miles). At 170 km (106 miles) in length and 25 km (15 miles) wide, the iceberg is slightly larger than the Spanish island of Mallorca and larger than the state of Rhode Island in the United States. -United.
The A-76 was captured in the image above by ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite. Below is an animation of the iceberg calving off the Ronne Ice Shelf.
Although the A-76 is huge, it’s not the biggest ever. It is only about a third the size of the largest iceberg in history, the B-15, which calved off the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica 21 years ago. The B-15 iceberg covered more than 10,878 square km (4,200 square miles) when it broke off, according to NASA Earth Observatory
The iceberg was spotted by the British Antarctic Survey and confirmed by Copernicus Sentinel-1 imagery. The Sentinel-1 mission consists of two polar-orbiting satellites that rely on C-band synthetic aperture radar imagery, which can take images both day and night. This allows for almost constant year-round viewing of remote areas like Antarctica.
Icebergs are named after the Antarctic quadrant in which they were initially sighted, followed by a sequential number when the iceberg peels off. Antarctica is divided into quadrants, with the letters A, B, C and D used to denote the different regions. The A-76 was spotted in the Bellingshausen / Weddell Sea quadrant and was the 76th iceberg followed by the United States National Ice Center.