Patagonian Plankton Swirls As Seen From Orbit

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
April 2, 2023
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Patagonian Plankton Swirls As Seen From Orbit
Patagonian Plankton Swirls

Phytoplankton create rich blooms of color in the Atlantic Ocean near South America in this enhanced color image from Dec. 2, 2014.

The Patagonian Shelf Break is a biologically rich patch of ocean where airborne dust from the land, iron-rich currents from the south, and upwelling currents from the depths provide a bounty of nutrients for phytoplankton.

The bands of color seen here not only reveal the location of plankton, but also the dynamic eddies and currents that carry them.

Image Credit: NASA/Norman Kuring; NOAA; DOD Larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.