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Earth: April 2013



Springtime in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France, as in most places, is a season of abundant growth. On April 20, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the dynamic growth of a springtime phytoplankton bloom.


One of the Expedition 35 crew members aboard the Earth-orbiting International Space Station photographed this night image of Tripoli, Libya on April 18, 2013.


This photograph from the International Space Station (ISS) shows the eastern half of South Georgia Island. At 54 degrees South latitude, snow and ice are permanent everywhere on the island except at altitudes near sea level, where temperatures are higher.


This image of Saunders Island and Wolstenholme Fjord with Kap Atholl in the background was taken during an Operation IceBridge survey flight in April, 2013. Sea ice coverage in the fjord ranges from thicker, white ice seen in the background, to thinner grease ice and leads showing open ocean water in the foreground.


Agricultural fires are set all over the world at different times to prepare the soil for the planting of new crops. Several fires in India and many dozen fires in Nepal have been set and are burning in this image from April 13, 2013. This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite.


Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today the names of seven ships. Included is an ocean-class auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) ship, the R/V Sally Ride.


Rolling hills of farmland in the northwest United States are pictured in this image from the Kompsat-2 satellite. Acquired over Washington state, the south and west areas of the image are in Walla Walla county, while the central-eastern-upper area is Columbia County.


After nearly 11 years of helping the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict weather and climate patterns and save lives in search and rescue operations, NOAA announced today it has turned off the NOAA-17 Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES).


Reliable information on the depth and floor structure of the Southern Ocean has so far been available for only few coastal regions of the Antarctic. An international team of scientists under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, has for the first time succeeded in creating a digital map of the entire Antarctic seafloor.


In northwest Australia, the Great Sandy Desert holds great geological interest as a zone of active sand dune movement. While a variety of dune forms appear across the region, this astronaut photograph features numerous linear dunes (about 25 meters high) separated in a roughly regular fashion (0.5 to 1.5 kilometers apart).


An area covering northern Namibia and southern Angola is pictured in this Kompsat-2 image from 3 January. Running across the image, the Okavango River forms the border between Namibia to the south and Angola to the north.


In a geological moment about 66 million years ago, something killed off almost all the dinosaurs and some 70 percent of all other species living on Earth. Only those dinosaurs related to birds appear to have survived. Most scientists agree that the culprit in this extinction was extraterrestrial, and the prevailing opinion has been that the party crasher was an asteroid.


While observing the turbulent outer atmosphere of the Sun, or corona, Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory B (STEREO-B) gathered a novel view of our home planet and a celestial visitor in the inner solar system. Comet PanSTARRS was visible to the naked eye from Earth's northern hemisphere at the time, though STEREO might have had the better view.


Alaskan mountains seen from high altitude aboard the NASA P-3B during the IceBridge transit flight from Thule to Fairbanks on March 21, 2013.