NASA says the largest iceberg ever recorded is dying

Astronauts on the space station snapped a farewell image of the disappearing iceberg.

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
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Iceberg B-15Z likely isn't long for this ocean.


Iceberg B-15 might sport a bland name, but it's one of the most interesting icebergs scientists have ever seen thanks in large part to its massive size. And soon it could amount to almost nothing

The iceberg measured in at 4,250 square miles (11,000 square kilometers) when it broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica in 2000. That made it nearly the size of the entire US state of Connecticut. It was much larger than a monster ice block that calved in 2017.

Over the 18 years since breaking away, iceberg B-15 has fallen into smaller pieces, most of which have melted into oblivion. Some pieces are still lingering and are large enough to be tracked by the US National Ice Center, but even those are dissipating.

Astronauts on the International Space Station snapped a look at a remaining chunk of the iceberg, called B-15Z, in late May. The photo shows a big fracture down the middle of the icy formation and smaller pieces shattering like glass away from the sides.

The iceberg's journey has taken it into warmer waters near the South Georgia Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. "Icebergs that make it this far have been known to rapidly melt and end their life cycles here," NASA said Wednesday. 

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