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Brrr! NASA locates coldest place on Earth

Beating out the previous record of minus 128.6 degrees Fahrenheit, a NASA satellite pinpoints the coldest place on Earth.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Coldest place on Earth satellite image
It's a bit nippy over here. This image was created with the help of remote-sensing satellites. National Snow and Ice Data Center,Ted Scambos

If you like the cold (really, really like the cold), then you might see if your travel agent can book you a ticket to visit the East Antarctic Plateau ice sheet. NASA announced that a particular high ridge located there is the coldest place on Earth. Temperatures in the hollows on the ridge drop to minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit on some winter nights.

Pinpointing the coldest place on Earth wasn't the simplest task. A team of scientists dug through data delivered by the Landsat 8 satellite, a shared project with the US Geological Survey, along with data from other satellites. All in all, they had 32 years of data from multiple satellites to study before declaring the ridge the coldest spot on the planet.

It was previously thought that perhaps the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica was the coldest spot, with its minus 128.6 Fahrenheit record low temperature set in 1983.

"We had a suspicion this Antarctic ridge was likely to be extremely cold, and colder than Vostok because it's higher up the hill. With the launch of Landsat 8, we finally had a sensor capable of really investigating this area in more detail," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in a statement.

The Landsat 8 satellite has scientists excited. Not only has it delivered the location of the coldest place on Earth, but it will continue to generate accurate data on climate change and help scientists monitor remote icy spots on the planet where humans wouldn't want to set foot.