Turning the Black Sea blue: NASA’s image of the day shows phytoplankton bloom
|NASA’s image of the day is a composite, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on its Aqua satellite. It shows phytoplankton swirling in the currents of the Black Sea. Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response|
The Black Sea is one of the largest bodies of water on earth, measuring 168,500 square miles, and it turns out not to be black at all. NASA’s appropriately-named Aqua satellite captured this shot last month, showing the deep blues and turquoise colors of the Sea from an orbital altitude of 438 miles. This is actually a composite image, made up of multiple photographs taken during several passes over the region.
The light-colored swirls are billions of phytoplankton – floating microscopic organisms plated with calcium carbonate.