May 2, 2012 -- Photographs snapped last week of the Antarctic Peninsula reveal a glittering landscape of ice and snow, crowned by rugged mountains rising majestically in the distance. Yet no human captured the stunning view - it was the work of machines.
Thanks to the combined technological powers of satellites and weather stations scattered around the Antarctic Peninsula, researchers can now keep tabs on the region's shifting ice - which in recent years has undergone dramatic changes - from the comfort of their offices.
AMIGOS 6, one of many specialized weather stations staked around the region, took the above image on April 24 and relayed it to a satellite the same day.
First deployed during the 2010-2011 Antarctic field season, each AMIGOS (Automated Met-Ice-Geophysics Observation System) station is equipped with a thermometer, instruments to measure wind speed and direction and a camera to photograph its surroundings. Stations set out on the ice itself are equipped with GPS to monitor changes in the flow speed of Antarctic glaciers, which are essentially huge rivers of ice.