The different colors on the image represent different wavelengths and frequencies of light. "These colors in a nutshell represent different physical characteristics of the ice, which the scientist can interpret," LeDrew says. "It's what is called polarimetric information. It's like looking through a camera's polarizing filter. Some wavelengths are up and down and some are side to side. These colors represent these wavelengths and different wave bands," which to an informed eye will reveal much about the condition and motion of glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice. "For example where the edge of a glacier is, or sea ice shelves that have broken off," he says, or ice thinning as landbound glaciers expand towards the sea. Ships also use the information for navigation, he says.