Iceberg in North Star Bay, Greenland
This is how it looks a technical failure turned into a magnificent view. Or, in other words, the luck of an enthusiast photographer when the aircraft destined to travel him suffered an unpredictable mechanical issue. Let’s see who’s the lucky guy: his name is Jeremy Harbeck, a researcher. More than 10 years ago he was an intern at NOAA National Weather Service, performing daily weather and climate observations, disseminating information over the Internet and NOAA weather radio, also aviation forecasts and emergency alerts. Later on, an image analyst within the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, and research assistant for the Polar Science Center, another research department of the same university. Determining on a daily basis the surface fraction of coastal sea ice melt ponds. And obtaining sea ice mass balance and radiative measurements at more than 30 ice stations. Just to understand this guy really like ice.
The best of his career is yet to come as he developed some skills for researching the ice. From 2006 Jeremy was also a research assistant for Geophysical Institute, researching towards the creation of an updated Arctic snow-on-sea ice 30-year climatology, with numerous deployments into the Arctic. He’s currently working for ADNET Systems as a support scientist at the Project Science Office for NASA’s Operation IceBridge. Right, his e-mail address ends with nasa.gov. His team works to design or optimize existing programs and algorithms based upon physical processes, with an emphasis in the polar regions. And while the data processing that he does typically takes place in an office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Jeremy was back to the Arctic this spring.
What a man like Jeremy could wish more than stepping on the real ice he’s making predictions of? So, there he headed, to Greenland’s Thule Air Base, on March 20. Once there, the engineers dicovered a mechanical issue that grounded Jeremy’s aircraft. No science flights for a few days (until receiving the replacement parts) meant some free time for the scientists. An excellent opportunity for Jeremy to hike to what is locally known as “the iceberg” 😉
An iceberg frozen in place by sea ice in North Star Bay. Jeremy shot the photograph and then he published it for everybody being able to see the wonder. The photograph, a composite of four 49-second images was taken at about 2:30 a.m. local time. Worth mentioning the sun never fully sets at this time of year in the Arctic, so there’s the sunlight on the left side of the picture. While lights from Thule Air Base are clearly visible on the right side. Also take a few seconds, maybe more, to look for the Milky Way in the top left area. Amazing, isn’t it? Curious about the weather by that time? Nothing less but minus 18 degrees Celsius (0 degrees Fahrenheit). Not cold enough to stop Jeremy from hiking across the still-thick sea ice. You might wonder about polar bears, right? Well, he circled the berg to check for polar bears and make sure the set is safe for his photographic quest.