Frozen Moonrise

An astronaut took this photograph of a full Moon rising over a frigid Hudson Bay in northern Canada. Looking north from the International Space Station, Earth’s horizon gradually fades into the darkness of polar night.

The winter scene reveals icy shorelines and frozen landscapes under thin, wrinkled clouds. The small villages and towns along these shores in Manitoba Province receive just 6 to 7 hours of sunlight each day in December. A bit farther north, the Sun will not rise above the horizon again until January. This photo, taken around 1 p.m. local time, shows just how little sunlight reaches northern Canada during a winter day.

In October 2019, ice began to form as it usually does on northern Hudson Bay. As seasonal temperatures dropped and the hours of sunlight decreased, fast ice attached to the western shores of Hudson Bay and began spreading further south. Once frozen, Hudson Bay becomes a key habitat for migrating polar bears, which spend much of their time on the ice until it starts to melt again around June.

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This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
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