The Antarctica’s tallest peak from NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory passes, Mount Vinson, on Oct. 22, 2012, during a flight over the continent to measure changes in the massive ice sheet and sea ice. Image credit: NASA/Michael Studinger
The flight is part of NASA’s Operation IceBridge, a multi-year airborne campaign to monitor changes in Earth’s polar ice caps in both the Antarctic and Arctic. IceBridge science flights from Punta Arenas, Chile, began on Oct. 12 and continue through early November. Mount Vinson is located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica.
Is the highest mountain of Antarctica, lying in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, which stand above the Ronne Ice Shelf near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. The massif is located about 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from the South Pole and is about 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) wide. At 4,892 metres (16,050 ft) the highest point is Mount Vinson, which was named in 2006 after Carl Vinson, long-time member of the U.S. Congress from the state of Georgia.
Vinson Massif was first seen in 1958 and first climbed in 1966. An expedition in 2001 was the first to climb via the Eastern route, and also took GPS measurements of the height of the peak. As of February 2010, 1,400 climbers have attempted to reach the top of Mount Vinson.
Vinson Massif from space Image credit:wikimedia