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Learn More: Ocean Color

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What's New
What color is your ocean?
Influences on ocean color
20 years of satellite observations
Background on ocean color
The optical properties of water

FAQs

Twenty years of global biosphere
This data visualization shows the Earth’s biosphere from September 1997 through September 2017. Credit: NASA/GSFC.
This visualization shows ocean color data collected by SeaWiFS (Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor), the first ocean color satellite that permitted continuous remote observation of plant life in the ocean (operational from 1997-2010). But the "ocean color story" goes a little further back, with the launch of CZCS (Coastal Zone Color Scanner), which was the first satellite that collected - not continuously - ocean color data (1978-1986). It's really cool that there are people in our lab who were part of that mission - they had printouts and punchcards! Things work a little bit differently these days. Data is delivered automatically, within a couple of hours.

Dr. Ivona Cetinić, Ocean Ecologist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Beyond Blue: Why Ocean Color Really Matters (15-May-19).