The waters along the shoreline of Sicily appear bright aquamarine in this image
from April 7, 2002. Although other satellite images occasionally show lightening
along the coast of Sicily and southern Italy, the water is unusually bright in
this image. The bright water may have been caused by a recent storm that either
stirred up sediment from relatively shallow sea bottom, or could be a springtime
phytoplankton bloom. (Distinguishing phytoplankton from sediment is one of the
challenges facing NASA researchers who study life in the oceans from satellites.)
Another interesting feature of this image is the smoke plume from Mount Etna that is
streaming almost directly to the East (right). Mt. Etna is one of the world’s
most active volcanos, and erupts up to several times a year.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.