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May 24, 2008

May 14, 2008 was a clear day over Ireland, and the MODIS on the Terra satellite captured this image as it passed overhead on that day. The black line shows the bordered between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Parts of the island of Great Britain, including Scotland (north) and Wales (south) are visible east of Ireland. Dublin, Ireland's capital, is is small gray patch on the east coast - it is easy to pick out, as it is just north of a patch of white clouds.

In the water of the Irish Sea (which separates Ireland from Great Britain in the east) are swirls of blue-green phytoplankton. Phytoplankton in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Ireland, create a line that runs north-south and parallel to Ireland. The colors in the water range from light green to nearly black. Phytoplankton are tiny marine organisms that, much like their land-based plant relatives, use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into food.

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