One of the biggest icebergs on ever recorded was just created after a chunk of ice the size of Delaware broke away from Antarctica this week. The 1-trillion-ton mass is basically a giant piece of an ice shelf called Larsen C, and researchers had known for a while that it was under duress. In November, NASA’s IceBridge mission took photos of what scientists called a “massive rift” in the peninsula.
This morning, an Oxford researcher tweeted a recent image captured by NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite that appears to show the mass after the break.
— Simon Proud (@simon_rp84) July 12, 2017
And ESA tweeted out a GIF of what it says is the final stage of the break.
— ESA EarthObservation (@ESA_EO) July 12, 2017
According to ESA, a fissure in the ice sheet was relatively stable for several years before it started to lengthen in January 2016.