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  • 07.12.17

Here are some before-and-after images of the Larsen C ice shelf that just broke off Antarctica

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.

And ESA tweeted out a GIF of what it says is the final stage of the break. 

According to ESA, a fissure in the ice sheet was relatively stable for several years before it started to lengthen in January 2016. 

[Photo: NASA]CZ