Gateway to the Arctic

Dutch Harbor seen from space

The Alaskan outpost, Dutch Harbor, seen from orbit.

The small, remote town of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is the last stop in civilisation for a team of NASA-funded scientists, who left on June 15 from the harbour on Unalaska Island for a five-week research cruise into the Arctic.

Along with 85 Coast Guard crewmembers, a team of 43 scientists is heading north aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy, the United States’ newest icebreaker, to study how climate change is affecting the ecology of the Arctic.

See the full-size image here (2MB, new window).

This natural-colour image from the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite shows the island, which is part of the Aleutian Island chain that separates the North Pacific Ocean from the Bering Sea.

The town of Dutch Harbor is split between two peninsulas: a northern part that is south of the airport, and a southern part, which is connected to its neighbour by a bridge. The wakes of several ships are visible in the surrounding waters.

To follow the expedition in coming weeks, visit NASA’s ICESCAPE blog.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Text adapted from information issued by Rebecca Lindsey.

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