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Ireland
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Ireland

March 29, 2009
Wave clouds surround Ireland in this image captured by the MODIS on the Aqua satellite on March 18, 2009. Faint jet contrails streak over Ireland at nearly right angles to the clouds. The black line shows the border 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 where the swirl of clouds leaves off on that coast.

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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