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Phytoplankton Bloom off South Georgia
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Phytoplankton Bloom off South Georgia

April 3, 2013
Tiny ocean plants blooming in the surface waters of the South Atlantic Ocean are creating the massive blue and green swirls seen in this true-color image. The waters around South Georgia Island are rich in nutrients, carried north on ocean currents from Antarctica, which allows the plants, phytoplankton, to thrive. The currents have also carried chunks of ice—icebergs or sea ice— north where they are melting in the warmer ocean waters. The ice forms tiny white flecks against the field of swirling blue. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on January 17, 2004. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


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