The South Atlantic and Argentina
November 29, 2001
This SeaWiFS (Sea viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor) image was collected last Thursday, on November 22, 2001. It's spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and phytoplankton in the Atlantic waters off the east coast of Argentina produce a swath of striking colors that range from electric blue, to aquamarine to deep green. Phytoplankton are small, single-celled ocean plants (smaller than the size of a pinhead) that contain chlorophyll. Because different types of phytoplankton have different concentrations of chlorophyll, they appear as different colors to sensitive satellite instruments such as SeaWiFS. So, observing the color of an area of the ocean allows scientists to estimate the amount of phytoplanton and to have an idea as to the general type of phytoplankton responsible for producing the color. Note, the Falkland Islands can be seen peeking through the clouds near the bottom of the image.