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Antarctica's Tallest Peak Captured, North Pole Not So Much
On October 22, 2012, during a flight over the continent to measure changes in the massive ice sheet and sea ice, NASA captured this image as part of its ongoing program.
Operation IceBridge is a multi-year airborne campaign to watch changes in the Earth's polar ice caps in both the Antarctic and Arctic. Mount Vinson is located in the Sentinel Range of the Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica.
The North and South poles are the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects with its surface. While the South pole actually exists in a physical place on Antarctica, the North Pole is really in the middle of the Arctic Ocean in waters covered with sea ice almost year-round ... except for around Christmas time when Santa, Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and elves are busy with the holidays.
NASA has tried repeatedly to photograph Santa's home but cannot come up with more than an image of ice and snow.
"NASA's Terra satellite was able to piece together a number of images it took to give us a complete look at the North Pole, which is usually very difficult to see by satellites, so Santa can keep his exact location secret," says NASA captioning this Flickr photo.