NASA/MODIS Rapid Response
On April 20, 2010, an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico left a dozen workers missing and several more critically injured and started a large fire that was churning out smoke days later. This image of the Gulf Coast and near-shore waters was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 21.
The Mississippi River Delta is speckled with clouds and outlined by a wide border of greenish-tan sediment. A white outline on the top image indicates the area covered by the close-up view below. (The large image shows a wider area at the same resolution as the close-up view.) The oil platform appears as a white dot, and a fan of brown smoke extends to the southeast.