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USA/SPACE: IMAGES OF EARTH FROM NASA'S SEAWIFS SATELLITE

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For the first time, NASA has released images showing the Earth's changing biology taken from space over one continuous year.

The breathtaking images are a result of monitoring of the Earth by a satellite-carried sensor called the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, or SeaWiFS.

NASA is hailing the images as the first glimpses into the 'pulse of the planet' Earth, thanks to the sensor launched last year.

On Thursday, America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, released what it called the first pictures of the Earth's changing biology - both on land and in its oceans.

The incredible images of North America were taken by a sensor known as the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor, or SeaWiFS.

Dramatic and colourful pictures taken from the satellite-based sensor show the planet's changing seasons as seen from space over a year of observation.

The images zoom in on the coast of Florida, then track the Eastern coast of the United States along the Carolinas, Maryland and New Jersey.

Electric blue colours single out the Great Lakes as seen from the satellite high above the Earth's surface.

NASA says it is the first time in history that dramatic images have been taken which document in glorious colour and detail the planet's biological cycles.

The SeaWiFS sensor, which travels on board the SeaStar satellite, was launched on August 1st last year and has continuously provided the U-S space organisation with data since September 18, 1997.

The imagery also details certain areas to demonstrate the state of the environment and the affects that disasters on the ground have had on the planet.

Views of the Chesapeake Bay area can be seen, with the red areas indicating higher concentrations of phytoplankton in the waters between Maryland and Virginia.

The sensor also pans across the Gulf of Mexico, showing evidence of Mexico's spate of recent fires.

Images taken in May and June showed smoke from the fires having been visibly carried by wind currents across the gulf and over to the U-S mainland.

Similar effects were picked up by the sensor over Florida, where fires also ravaged the landscape, showing the lingering effects on the environment.

Detailed imagery shows smoke plumes among the cloud formations over Florida as a result of the fires.

The imagery was also used to construct a model showing global views of chlorophyll on land and phytoplankton in the Earth's oceans.


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