NASA Infrared Image of Gulf Oil Spill (Weekend Feature)


The image is thermal, with the coldest surfaces appearing dark, and the warmest appearing white. The city of Pascagoula, Miss., is visible in the upper right corner; at night the land is colder (darker) than the Gulf waters.

Offshore islands also appear dark compared to the surrounding ocean. The black dots and patches are small clouds, particularly in the southern half of the image. The thickest parts of the oil spill appear as dark gray, filamentous masses in the southern part of the image, extending off of the bottom. Other dark-light swirl patterns are water currents where different temperature water masses are visible.



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