3 June 2010
There are several ways of seeing the extent of the oil slick on the water in the Gulf of Mexico. Visible light is just one way. A better way may very well be to use Synthetic Aperture Radar and look at the Gulf in high frequency radio light.
The SAR image to the right is courtesy of CSTARS and the European Space Agency. It shows the oil well. It also shows the oil has spread to the east of the federal closed to fishing area.
The closed area will likely have to be expanded further eastward and soon. The current closed area is left of a line southward from Pensacola Bay.
There is an SAR on a Canadian Satellite as well and it too shows the oil quite well.
Something to keep in mind, we humans can only see a tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
We call it light.
IR, and C band radio waves are light too though and sometimes you can see things much better in that light than the visible light our eyes have evolved to detect.
NOTE Saturday 5 June: NOAA has now expanded the area closed to fishing and the area mentioned in this post is now included.