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antarctic-plateau

The coldest place on Earth has been measured by satellites and it’s a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau. Temperatures in several hollows have been found to dip to a bone chilling -133.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

The measurements were made between 2003 and 2013 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on board NASA’s Aqua satellite and during the 2013 Southern Hemisphere winter by Landsat 8, a satellite launched by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The record temperatures were found in several 5 by 10 kilometer (3 by 6 mile) pockets where the topography forms small hollows of a few meters deep (2 to 4 meters, or 6 to 13 feet). These hollows are present just off the ice ridge that runs between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji—the ice dome summits of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Antarctic bases sit on each of the sites and are generally not occupied during Antarctic winters.

The temperatures are several degrees colder than the previous record of −128.6 degrees Fahrenheit measured on July 21, 1983 at the Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica.

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