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World’s largest iceberg breaks off in Antarctica

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An enormous iceberg has broken away from the western side of the Ronne Ice Shelf in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea, reports on Thursday said.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the iceberg, known as A-76, measuring around 4,320 square kilometres in size, is currently the largest in the world.

The iceberg was spotted in recent images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite mission and at around 170 kilometres in length and 25 kilometres wide.

It is said to be slightly larger than the Spanish island of Majorca.

The British Antarctic Survey spotted the berg and it was confirmed by the U.S. National Ice Centre, using Copernicus Sentinel-1 imagery.

The Sentinel-1 mission consists of two polar-orbiting satellites, which use radar imaging to return data regardless of whether it is day or night, allowing year-round viewing of remote regions like Antarctica.

The biggest recorded iceberg was previously A-32A, which is approximately 3,880 square kilometres in size and is also located in the Weddell Sea.

The A-74 iceberg that broke off from Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf in February earlier this year was only 1,270 square kilometres – about the size of Los Angeles.

Icebergs are traditionally named from the Antarctic quadrant in which they were originally sighted, then a sequential number, then, if the iceberg breaks, a sequential letter, ESA said.

Babatunde Abdulfatah

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