Eighteen days after the Deepwater Horizon accident, an oil slick lingered in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on May 8, 2010. Although partially obscured by clouds, oil is discernible in two areas—a serpentine slick near the Mississippi Delta, and a large round slick south of the Mississippi-Alabama border. Oil on the water is visible in this image thanks to sunglint (sunlight reflecting off the ocean’s surface into the satellite sensor).
- Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response, the official site of the Deepwater Horizon unified command.
- Current information about the extent of the oil slick is available from the Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.