South Georgia Island #

South Georgia Island
Photo courtesy of NASA., under PD
South Georgia Island is entirely covered by snow and ice in this striking true-color satellite image. Some 170 km (105 mi) long and varying from 2 to 40 km (1 to 25 mi) wide, the island itself resembles a carved and weatherbeaten whalebone.

The many dark shadows contrasting with the bright white surface reveal a rugged terrain, with 11 mountain peaks across the island standing taller than 2,000 m (6,560 ft). Mount Pagets peak, located near the center of the island, is the tallest, standing roughly 2,900 m (9,515 ft).

Many boundary layer cumulus clouds fill the atmosphere in the larger region surrounding the island in this scene. Toward the upper lefthand corner of the image a number of sinewy patterns snaking across the cloud bank indicate open-cell convection. South Georgia Island appears to be creating a wake of thicker marine stratocumulus clouds flowing away from its northeast shore.

Interestingly, one tongue of the marine stratocumulus appears to point directly at a pass running through the mountains, through which strong winds are undoubtedly channeled. The break in the clouds surrounding the island nicely frames a unique view of the surface.

Phytoplankton appears to be in bloom all around the island, giving the deep blue South Atlantic waters a lighter, more turquoise hue.