To the surprise of scientists, a large iceberg has broken
off the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica well in advance
of predictions.

The new iceberg detached from the glacier when a crack,
which initially formed in mid-2000, spread rapidly until it
reached the breaking point. The iceberg’s birth was captured
in a series of images taken by NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging
SpectroRadiometer. These images, combined with previous
measurements and data from other instruments, provide
scientists with additional evidence of rapid change in the

The image sequence and an animation are available online
at: .

The first image was captured in late 2000, early in the
development of the crack. The second and third views were
acquired in November 2001, just before and just after the
formation of the new iceberg.

The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, built and
managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.,
is one of several Earth-observing experiments aboard the Terra
satellite, launched in December 1999. The instrument acquires
images of Earth at nine angles simultaneously, using nine
separate cameras pointed forward, downward, and backward along
its flight path. More information is available at: .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena.