Coccolithophore bloom off Brittany, France
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The chalky white exteriors of single-celled marine plants called coccolithophores are coloring the water of the Atlantic Ocean bright blue. Like other types of phytoplankton, coccolithophores are a source of food for marine organisms. Though coccoliths are small, they often form large, concentrated blooms that are visible from space. On June 15, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of a bloom off the coast of Brittany, France. The bloom had been developing for a few days before this image was taken.