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New Map Shows Antarctica In Incredible Detail

Researchers have developed a map of Antarctica that's so detailed, you would be able to see a car if it was parked on an ice shelf.

Despite humankind's want to explore and discover now moving into outer space, there are actually still areas right here on Earth that aren't entirely mapped out. We know less about the very deepest parts of the ocean than we do about the moon, and it's a more terrifying place to be considering the weird and wonderful creatures that live in the darkness down there.

Some places on Earth that we still know relatively little about are right up here on dry land, though. Take Antarctica, for instance. One of only seven continents on our planet, but one that is covered entirely in a frozen tundra and never has more than 1,000 people on it at any one time.

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In fact, up until very recently, we had more detailed maps of Mars than we did of Antarctica. That has now changed thanks to researchers at the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University. Researchers at the two establishments have created not only the most detailed map of Antarctica ever put together, but the most intricate map of any continent ever, as reported by Futurism. It is called the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica, or REMA.

via nytimes.com

To create the map, researchers gathered millions of telescopic images taken by satellites of Antarctica over an eight-year period. That left them with a massive 150 terabytes of data that needed stitching together, something they used the Blue-Waters supercomputer to do. Once that was done, they were left with a map of Antarctica so detailed that you can see the elevation of the continent at every single point. Plus, you would even be able to see a parked car if it were parked on an ice shelf.

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The meticulous work means a couple of great things when it comes to finding out more about the barren continent. Researchers and scientists exploring Antarctica will now be able to plan better and safer routes between research posts. They will also be updating the map every year which means they will be able to keep a close eye on how global warming is changing the continents as well as the activity of rivers and volcanoes. You can even check out the map for yourself by heading to the University of Minnesota's website.

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