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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seeing microbugs from space

Today's NASA image of the day is spectacular.  It is an image of the waters off the coast of New Zealand.  During this time of year, microscopic organisms that live in the ocean waters (phytoplankton) bloom due to the mixing of ocean currents.  When they grow in such large numbers, they reflect enough sunlight to be visible from space.  Different kinds of these organisms use different minerals to create their tiny solid shells; these end up reflecting the light as slightly different colors of blue & green.