Franz Josef Land from Terra satellite

Located just 600 miles (970 kilometers) from the North Pole, Franz Josef Land is perpetually coated with ice. Glaciers cover roughly 85 percent of the archipelago’s land masses, and sea ice floats in the channels between islands even in the summertime.

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed the islands of central Franz Josef Land on August 16 and 19, 2011.

Franz Josef Land map

The image above was made from a combination of visible and near-infrared wavelengths, and ice appears in shades of white and pale blue. The amount of sea ice filling the channels between the islands of Franz Josef Land varies from summer to summer. Captured toward the end of the Northern Hemisphere melt season, this shot shows a modest amount of sea ice on the ocean surface. Some of the ice has accumulated in bays like the one near northeastern Zieger Island.

read more: earthobservatory