Spring has arrived in the ocean, and with an incredible psychedelic visual effect. NASA’s stunning snapshot of a vibrant phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic Ocean could almost pass for a Van Gogh masterpiece.
NASA’s ocean division shared the spectacular image, captured automatically by the Earth-orbiting Aqua satellite on March 27, which shows the microscopic marine plants in full fluorescent bloom.
Also known as microalgae, phytoplankton are fodder for a wide range of sea creatures from whales, to shrimp, snails, and jellyfish. They need sunlight in order to live and grow, so most phytoplankton are buoyant and float in the upper part of the ocean, creating a sea of magnificent greens and blues when spotted from above.
The colorful snap was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), an instrument aboard each of the Terra and Aqua satellites. Aqua is timed to pass south to north over Earth’s equator in the afternoon, while Terra passes from north to south in the morning.
Every 2 days, the satellites begin a new capture of the Earth’s entire surface over the entire 2-day length, collecting massive troves of real-time data about the planet’s land, oceans, and lower atmosphere.
* This article was automatically syndicated and expanded from RT International.