Saturday, November 28, 2009


The blooming ocean
This Envisat image captures a blue-green plankton bloom larger than the country of Greece, stretching across the Barents Sea off the tip of northern Europe. Envisat acquired the image on Aug. 19 with its Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer. MERIS's primary objective is to provide quantitative ocean-color measurements.

Above the world's roof
This image from the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite captures Asia's diverse topography, altitude and climate. The snow-sprinkled Himalayan Mountains mark the barrier between the peaks of the Tibetan Plateau in Central Asia (top) and the plains of Nepal, Bhutan and India in the Indian subcontinent (bottom). In this false-color image, lush or green vegetation appears bright red

Light show
Stars whirl in the night sky above a lighthouse near Watkinsville, Ga., in a long-exposure photograph taken Sept. 7.

Flash in the sky
Victor van Wulfen captured this Nov. 15 image of a Leonid meteor streaking through South African skies with the Magellanic Clouds in the background. "The Leonid was bright enough to bathe the observing spot in white light for an instant of a second," van Wulfen said. The observations were made from Jurg Wagener's Sterland Boerdery in Sutherland, South Africa.

Antarctic winds
Just days away from the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere's spring, Antarctica's Inexpressible Island and the Northern Foothills Mountains are illuminated by a glimmer of sunlight from a low angle in this picture, taken by NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite on Sept. 16. The picture, posted Nov. 10, shows streams of newly formed sea ice rolling across the waters of Terra Nova Bay. That's an indication that Antarctica's persistent and fierce katabatic winds are at work.

A turbulent gulf
Clouds of sediment colored the Gulf of Mexico on Nov. 10 when an imaging instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this view. Much of the color likely comes from resuspended sediment dredged up from the sea floor in shallow waters. The sediment-colored water transitions to a clearer dark blue near the edge of the continental shelf, where the water becomes deeper.

The Milky Way spreads across the night sky over Mormon Row, a historic settlement in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo., on Nov. 19. The light in the distance is the city of Driggs, Idaho, on the west side of the Teton Mountain Range.

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