NASA spots unusual "sorta" circles and holes in Arctic sea ice

NASA spots unusual

NASA researchers have found mysterious holes in the Arctic ice and can only speculate on what led to their creation.

Sonntag snapped this photograph from the window of the P-3 research plane while flying over the eastern Beaufort Sea.

The mystery ice circles were located around 50 miles away from the Mackenzie River Delta in Canada, and while Sonntag's official job was to closely scrutinize ice around the Arctic Ocean, after seeing the odd holes his mission quickly became one of trying to solve how they got there in the first place. "I don't recall seeing this sort of thing elsewhere", Sonntag wrote during the mission.

The other possibility, and one I've seen on quite a few ponds this winter where I live in northeast NY, is that the ice punctures are due to convection from warm water sources.

Due to the limitations inherent to having only a single image of the features, NASA says determining what we're looking at is tricky and that right now all it has is speculation. They claim that the ice in that place was thin and the phenomenon was called "finger rafting", a feature that forms when floes collide.

But luckily, this puzzling picture of holes in a sheet of Arctic ice appears to be more of an interesting brain teaser than the discovery of, say, giant ice worms.

The most likely explanation is seals, since they are known to gnaw through the ice for breathing holes and sometimes haul themselves onto the ice to rest. They don't know what the features are or how they formed because they've never seen anything like it before, and now they're doing their best to figure out why the unusual patterns exist. Some think they were made by seals. However, project scientist Nathan Kurtz isn't sure what caused the circles, saying, "I have never seen anything like that before".

"The encircling features may be due to waves of water washing out over the snow and ice when the seals surface Or, it could be a sort of drainage feature that results from when the hole is made in the ice".

Glaciologist Chris Schuman, who works with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center, postulates that as warm water circulates through the Arctic Ocean that it is certainly feasible that ice circles of this kind could be created.

They conducted a six-month analysis of the polar shapok in the two hemispheres, which used "the most sophisticated Suite of innovative scientific instruments in history", including laser altimeters, lidar, aircraft and satellites NASA.

Related Articles

  • Spotify Launches Redesigned App For Free Users

    Spotify Launches Redesigned App For Free Users

    Several reports have claimed Spotify is on its way to entering the smart speaker market to compete with Apple, Amazon and Google. The technology giant's subscription service has gathered more than 38 million paying users since launching in 2015.
    ESPN's Beadle Challenges 49ers to Cut Reuben Foster Amid Domestic Violence Charges

    ESPN's Beadle Challenges 49ers to Cut Reuben Foster Amid Domestic Violence Charges

    Lynch said he was unsure if Foster will remain away from the club while the case against him is pending. We're gonna learn things through this legal process. "I think that's the standard we want on our team.
    Waffle House murder suspect Travis Reinking is in custody

    Waffle House murder suspect Travis Reinking is in custody

    When his AR-15 rifle either jammed or the clip was empty, the customer disarmed him in a scuffle. Investigators believed he had an AR-15 rifle in his vehicle trunk, but it was never displayed.
  • Everton boss Allardyce confident Schneiderlin over Man Utd disappointment

    Everton boss Allardyce confident Schneiderlin over Man Utd disappointment

    Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright apologized for a gaffe that added to the perception Allardyce is on borrowed time with Everton . The Newcastle boss said: "Islam worked hard, the understanding between him and the rest of the team will take some time".
    3 Reasons Why They Lost To The Capitals — Columbus Blue Jackets

    3 Reasons Why They Lost To The Capitals — Columbus Blue Jackets

    The team ought to stay with what they have and maybe try to pick up a couple of depth free agents to pad their lineup out. The Pens can create matchup nightmares when they have game-breakers spread out over three different lines.
    Saudi forces intercept two missiles fired by Houthi militias

    Saudi forces intercept two missiles fired by Houthi militias

    Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians. Humanitarian groups have accused Saudi Arabia of war crimes for deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure.
  • Christina Aguilera And Melissa McCarthy Get 'Dirrty' On 'Carpool Karaoke'

    Christina Aguilera And Melissa McCarthy Get 'Dirrty' On 'Carpool Karaoke'

    They were a big old couple". "Right, that worked out wonderfully ", Corden quipped. Christina is good but man, James Corden can really belt out a tune.
    National Drug Take Back coming up

    National Drug Take Back coming up

    More than 900,000 pounds of unused drugs were collected at more than 5,300 collection sites in the fall campaign of 2017. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
    2Pac Handwritten Letter Case: Judge Tosses Madonna's Lawsuit

    2Pac Handwritten Letter Case: Judge Tosses Madonna's Lawsuit

    Other items included in this collection were silk underwear belonging to the star and a hairbrush with strands of her hair. But now Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Gerald Lebovits has released the items citing the short statute of limitations.
  • Joe Ingles trolls Rudy Gobert after Game 4 win vs. Thunder

    Joe Ingles trolls Rudy Gobert after Game 4 win vs. Thunder

    George finished with a team-high 32 points for the Thunder, who return home for Game 5 attempting to stave off elimination. Ingles fueled the surge by hitting three straight 3-pointers to put Utah in front 58-52 before halftime.
    Equity indices inch-up; IT stocks rise

    Equity indices inch-up; IT stocks rise

    Both Sensex and Nifty traded above 2-month high. "Trading was volatile ahead of derivative expiry this week", Jasani told IANS. On the global front, Asian markets ended mostly higher despite the Dow and the Nasdaq falling amid a decline in tech shares.
    The World's Oldest Person Dies In Japan At Age 117

    The World's Oldest Person Dies In Japan At Age 117

    The great-great-great grandmother officially regarded as the world's oldest person has died in Japan at the age of 117. Nabi Tajima was listed in the Guinness Book of records as the oldest woman on the planet from September 2017.