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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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
On Saturday, June 19, 2010, oil spread northeast from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil appears as a maze of silvery-gray ribbons in this photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
The location of the leaking well is marked with a white dot. North of the well, a spot of black may be smoke; reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that oil and gas continue to be captured and burned as part of the emergency response efforts.
The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail). Twice-daily images of the Gulf of Mexico are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team in additional resolutions and formats, including a georeferenced version that can be used in Google Earth.