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Satellite view of Earth
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Viewing Phytoplankton From Space
[24-Feb-10] Thousands of satellites orbit our planet. Some look out into space. Others look back at us... at Earth. Some of the sensors on these satellites act like giant digital cameras, taking pictures in visible light - the kind our eyes see. On land, these images show us when plants turn green, with the changing seasons. They help us see where dirt and pollution drain into the sea, and where microscopic plankton thrive. These tiny organisms are not only the base of the marine food web... they give us the air we breathe.
David Adamec: "We are dependent on life in the water. Especially in the ocean. There are small plants called phytoplankton that are responsible for 50 percent of the oxygen that you're breathing right now." View full movie here. (00:00:52) Credit: NASA.