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Incredible psychedelic phytoplankton bloom captured from space (PHOTO)

Incredible psychedelic phytoplankton bloom captured from space (PHOTO)
Spring has sprung in the ocean, and with an incredible psychedelic effect. NASA’s stunning snap of a vibrant phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic could pass for a Van Gogh masterpiece.

NASA’s ocean division shared the awesome image, captured by the Earth orbiting Aqua satellite on March 27, which shows the microscopic marine plants in full fluorescent bloom.

Also known as microalgae, phytoplankton are fodder for a wide range of sea creatures from whales, to shrimp, snails and jellyfish. They need sunlight in order to live and grow, so most phytoplankton are buoyant and float in the upper part of the ocean, creating a sea of magnificent greens and blues when spotted from above.

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The colorful snap was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), an instrument aboard each of the Terra and Aqua satellites. Aqua is timed to pass south to north over Earth’s equator in the afternoon, while Terra passes from north to south in the morning.

Every two days the satellites capture a view of the Earth’s entire surface and collect troves of data about our land, oceans, and lower atmosphere.

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