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July 12, 2022

Steven Miller links real encounter with ‘milky seas’ to satellite pictures

Milky seas – the rare phenomenon of glowing areas on the ocean’s surface that can cover thousands of square miles – are not new to scientists at Colorado State University. They have previously demonstrated the use of satellites to see these elusive phenomena. What was missing were photographic observations of milky seas observed from the Earth’s surface and from space at the same time.

Until now.

In a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Steven Miller, professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science and director of CSU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, compares satellite observations of a 2019 milky sea event off the coast of Java to photographic evidence from the sailing ship Ganesha, a 16-meter private yacht. The yacht happened to be sailing in the milky seas at the same time. Unsure of what they had encountered, the yacht’s crew provided CSU their enlightening footage after learning of its expertise in satellite observations, and Miller’s particular interest in capturing milky seas from space.

Read the full Source story, “CSU researcher links real encounter with ‘milky seas’ to satellite pictures.”

Image above: A 100,000-square-kilometer bioluminescent milky sea south of Java, as seen from space on Aug. 2, 2019, and from the Earth’s surface by the private yacht Ganesha. In the nighttime photo, the first of its kind, the ship’s deck appears as a dark silhouette against the glowing waters. Credit: Steven Miller/Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at CSU