This beautiful picture comes from a story that came out in June 2006, but which I only just happened to stumble upon. Planetary scientists suggest that a 300 mile crater lying beneath the surface of Antarctica could very well date back to the the time of the Permian-Triassic extinction.
The Wilkes Land crater is more than twice the size of the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan peninsula, which marks the impact that may have ultimately killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
The Wilkes Land crater could well also have been responsible for the break up of Gondwana, the super continent that existed millions and millions of years ago before Australia and others seperated from it.
Click here to find out more.
Whilst perusing our very own South Pole Gazette I came across some astonishing satellite images taken over the last year or so, showing the birth of an iceberg: you can clearly see above a huge dark crescent-shaped crack forming as the ice-mass breaks away from its parent glacier in Antarctica.
The full story can be seen here
The Shackleton Foundation is disquieted to hear of the strange new attempt by the British Government to theoretically claim a larger part of Antarctica beneath the Pole
Article 4 of the 1959 Antarctic Treaty does not recognize, dispute, or establish territorial sovereignty claims and specifically states that "no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force."
By curious coincidence, new claims have been laid to the Arctic lately, including the somewhat farcical Russian submarine flag-planting in August of this year, which one can only imagine has spurred our Government on to make their "theoretical" case.
It should be remembered that the 1959 Antarctic Treaty was, in effect, the first arms control agreement of the Cold War. The Treaty states that the Antarctic continent is a demilitarized natural reserve, devoted to peaceful scientific research, with environmental protection recognised and guaranteed by no less than 46 countries.
In brief: Antarctica belongs to all of us.
Here is a link to an article from the Smithsonian website about Mount Erebus, the world's most southerly volcano. Whilst you're there, you can also watch a quicktime film of it erupting in Antarctica.
Click here for The National Geographic website which contains over 1800 articles on Antarctica which you can view if you enter Antarctica in the search field at the top of the page.
Click on the map below for another part of the website entitled "Discover Antarctica" which contains a flash interactive map of Antarctica with information detailing amongst other things, a history of the exploration of Antarctica, including the 1908/9 Nimrod Expedition.
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