Feeds

Bloomin’ big: algae seen from space

More sat happy snaps

High performance access to file storage

An algal bloom has emerged near Antarctica, so large that it’s not just visible but prominent in satellite images.

The bloom, roughly 200 x 100 kilometers, has shown up in images taken by NASA’s Modis instrument on the Terra satellite. It has emerged off the coast of Mac Robertson Land and was identified by scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division.

The bloom is expected to spark a local feeding frenzy for everything from krill and other zooplankton, through to fish, penguins, seals, and ultimately whales, according to research scientist Mark Curran.

Antarctica's enormous algal blooms, as snapped by NASA's Terra satellite.

While not certain about the cause of the bloom, Curran notes that small traces of iron in Antarctic snow blown out to sea could partly be driving the event, since iron is a nutrient to algae.

The bloom has been observed for 20 days, and researchers hope it will last long enough to be observed by the research vessel Aurora Australis, which is currently voyaging between Mawson Station and Hobart, Tasmania. ®

Bootnote: I would have loved to look at the original NASA pics, but for some reason my GIS skills have deserted me, and I can't get the Modis Web Mapping Service to work like it used to. Any commenters know how to get Modis images into QGis? - RC. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.