20 Apr '11, 12pm

Our first view from space 1 year ago of the environmental disaster about to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our first view from space 1 year ago of the environmental disaster about to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010, an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico left a dozen workers missing and several more critically injured and started a large fire that was churning out smoke days later. This image of the Gulf Coast and near-shore waters was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on April 21. The Mississippi River Delta is speckled with clouds and outlined by a wide border of greenish-tan sediment. A white outline on the top image indicates the area covered by the close-up view below. (The large image shows a wider area at the same resolution as the close-up view.) The oil platform appears as a white dot, and a fan of brown smoke extends to the southeast. Although photographs show that the damaged rig was leaking oil, no oil slick is obvious in this image. Oil slicks are notoriously difficult to spot in natural-c...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?...

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