Phytoplankton blooms off South Australia

A puzzle-like layer of marine stratocumulus clouds overlays the Southern Ocean off of Southern Australias coast in this true-color Aqua MODIS image from December 6, 2003. The clouds partially obscure Kangaroo Island, which is separated from the mainland by the Investigator Strait (to the north) and the Backstairs Passage (to the east). Just off the eastern edge of the clouds, a blue cloud of what is probably phytoplankton floats in the waters off of Younghusband Peninsula (the bright tan strip of land) and Coorong National Park. Other phytoplankton blooms float in the waters of the Gulf of St. Vincent (northeast of Kangaroo Island) and Spencer Gulf (between York Peninsula and the mainland). Phytoplankton are tiny marine organisms that, much like their land-based plant relatives, use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into food. For more information on the role of phytoplankton in the climate and the many different types, please visit the Earth Observatory.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires in north central Australia

Dozens of active fire detections (red dots) were made across Northern Australia on September 3, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. The scene shows Western Australia (left) and Northern Territory (right). Much of the land in this part of the country is rangeland or farmland, and these fires are likely planned burns that have been set as part of a natural resource management strategy.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust storm off Australia

A substantial plume of dust (light brown pixels) was blowing off the east coast of Australia, between Sydney and Brisbane, and out over the Tasman Sea. Winds that gusted up to 37 miles per hour carried the dust from the continent’s dry interior out over the coast in a rare dust storm. This true-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)), aboard NASA’s Terra satellite, on October 28, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Southeastern Australia

This true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image shows the southeast tip of Australia. The grey region surrounding Port Phillip Bay, center, is the city of Melbourne. The city houses over 3 million people in its 663 square mile sprawl. The lush, green vegetation surrounding the city gives credence to its reputation for a wet and windy climate. Offshore, the blue and green swirls in the water are probably sediment from rivers flowing off Tasmania, the large island in the bottom center of the image. The swirls could also be phytoplankton, microscopic organisms that use chlorophyll to produce energy like land-based plants. The chlorophyll gives the phytoplankton their green color, which is visible from space when large numbers of the organism group together. The red dots on Tasmania, Flinders Island, and the Australian mainland mark the locations of fires. White plumes of smoke stream from the more intense fires. The Aqua satellite captured this image on November 14, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Inigo (26S) approaching northwest Australia

These images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the Aqua and Terra satellites in early April show Tropical Cyclone Inigo approaching northwest Australia.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Inigo (26S) off Northern Australia

Tropical Cyclone Inigo is bearing down on the coast of northwest Australia in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite on April 6, 2003. At the time this image was taken winds were around 100 knots (115 mph), down from their maximum speed of 161 mph achieved on April 4. As of April 7, the storm was predicted to continue weakening as it moved toward land, but it could still bring heavy rains to Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In this image, the outer bands of storm clouds have reached the Australia coast and extend northward over the Timor Sea almost all the way to the island of Timor at the top of the image. The storm was predicted to make landfall Monday night or Tuesday, and residents were being warned to prepare for winds in excess of 105 miles per hour.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Inigo (26S) off Northern Australia

These images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the Aqua and Terra satellites in early April show Tropical Cyclone Inigo approaching northwest Australia.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Inigo (26S) over Northern Australia

This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite shows Tropical Cyclone Inigo making landfall over the northern coast of Western Australia Territory. The storm is looking less organized than on previous days.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Graham (20S) off Australia

With sustained winds near 64 km per hour (40 mph), Tropical Cyclone Graham (20S) was located approximately 200 miles northeast of Port Hedland, Australia, on Feb. 28, 2003, and was drifting southeastward at 6 km per hour (3 mph). This true-color image of the outer bands of clouds in the storm hitting the coast was acquired on February 28, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA´s Terra satellite.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Erica (22P) off Australia

With sustained winds near 64 km per hour (40 mph), Tropical Cyclone Erica (22P) was located approximately 632 miles east-southeast of Cairns, Australia, and was moving towards the southeast at 22 km per hour (14 mph) on the day this image was acquired—March 4, 2003. The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC