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.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Caption by Michon Scott.