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Oil Slick in the Gulf of Mexico
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig was visible on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on June 18, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. The oil appears as meandering, interlocking patterns of varying shades of off-white. The angle of the Sun plays a role in the oil slick’s visibility, as the oil is illuminated by sunglint.