Ocean Color Image Gallery

Shadows of the Midnight Sun

Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere expect to see the sun track across the southern part of our sky; folks in the southern hemisphere, not so much... unless they happen to be south of the antarctic circle in or near summertime... and awake in the middle of the night.

The above image of the area around Ross Island, Antarctica was collected at 1:15 in the early morning on December 19, 2008 (New Zealand Daylight Time). Shadows thrown by mountains and clouds show the sun to be in the south. Even at this early hour of the morning, there is enough light to make out the green color of the Ross Sea where phytoplankton are thriving in the high-nutrient, 24-hour-daylight environment.

A larger view showing more of the Ross Sea and the Transantarctic Mountains is also available (8.5 megabytes).