Dazzling Photographs of Earth From Above
Satellite images of mountains, glaciers, deserts and other landscapes become incredible works of art
- By Erin Wayman
- Smithsonian.com, June 09, 2011
(USGS / NASA)
The green and blue swirls of the Baltic Sea surrounding the Swedish island Gotland look like they could have been painted by Vincent van Gogh, but they are the work of microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton. When ocean currents bring an abundance of nutrients to the surface, the population of tiny plants proliferates into big, colorful blooms.