NASA Captures Attention With Photo of Rectangular Iceberg

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It was during one of these regular surveillance flights that senior support scientist Jeremy Harbeck spotted an unusually angular iceberg floating just off the Larsen C ice shelf. But alien conspiracy fans will be disappointed to learn that it's a naturally occurring phenomenon.

The iceberg photos come from the agency's Operation IceBridge, a long-running aerial survey mission that measures and monitors polar ice. Once they split from an ice shelf, they are often geometric in shape.

But how does the iceberg form its flawless shape? They are wide, flat, and long and are characterized by steep, almost vertical sides and a flat plateau top.

This is near the Larsen C ice shelf, where NASA believes the iceberg has recently broken off from - evidence of a recent break comes from the fact the iceberg has sharp edges.

That iceberg was also a wide and flat tabular iceberg, accompanied by smaller tall and thin chunks of ice called pinnacle icebergs.

Its precisely cut corners show that it hasn't been around that long, because the sharp edges would become round from exposure to wind and waves.

As with regular icebergs, just 10 percent of its mass is visible in the picture, though the subsurface mass is would look similar to what's visible above.

A case in point would be a triangle-shaped iceberg spotted by NASA scientists recently and tweeted on October 19.

The yet-to-be-named iceberg snapped off the Larsen C ice shelf, which calved an iceberg the size of DE previous year.

Speaking to Live Science, NASA ice scientist Kelly Brunt from the University of Maryland said this particular square shape was "a bit unusual", noting it was likely about 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) across. The berg is in the shape of an nearly flawless rectangle.

A triangular tabular iceberg was also photographed for NASA during Operation Iceberg.

It studies yearly changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. In the open water, grease ice is forming.