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Algal bloom off Ireland
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Algal bloom off Ireland

November 14, 2012
Resembling the brush strokes of French Impressionist Claude Monet, electric blue-coloured plankton blooms swirl in the North Atlantic Ocean off Ireland in this Envisat image. Plankton, the most abundant type of life found in the ocean, are microscopic marine plants that drift on or near the surface of the sea. While individually microscopic, the chlorophyll they use for photosynthesis collectively tints the surrounding ocean waters, providing a means of detecting these tiny organisms from space with dedicated 'ocean colour' sensors, like Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), which acquired this image on 23 May 2010 at a resolution of 300 m.