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Oil SpillsScience

Sun Glinting off Oil Spill

NASA’s Aqua satellite has caught imagery of the sun glinting off the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

[social_buttons]As it swept over the Gulf of Mexico, the Aqua, using the onboard Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument, took the above image showing three big bright sunglints.

According to the May 18 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web update of the Deepwater Horizon incident, “satellite imagery on May 17 indicated that the main bulk of the oil is dozens of miles away from the Loop Current, but that a tendril of light oil has been transported down close to the Loop Current.”

In fact, in news today scientists monitoring the spill with the European Space Agency’s Envisat radar satellite say that the oil spill has in fact entered the Loop Current, a powerful conveyor belt that flows clockwise around the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida.

“With these images from space, we have visible proof that at least oil from the surface of the water has reached the current,” said Dr Bertrand Chapron of Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea. “Now that oil has entered the Loop Current, it is likely to reach Florida within six days. Since Envisat ASAR, ERS-2 and other SAR satellites are systematically planned to acquire data over the area, we will monitor the situation continuously.”

Sources: NASA & ESA




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