Stunning ‘sunglint’ turns the sea’s surface into a swirling silver mirror

This photo taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station shows a “sunglint” that has transformed the sea surrounding a pair of Greek islands into a swirling silver mirror. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

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An astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) recently snapped a stunning photograph of a “sunglint” that transformed the sea’s surface into a swirling, silver mirror surrounding a pair of Greek islands. The color-changing phenomenon, caused by the sun‘s light reflecting off the still sea directly into the astronaut’s camera, highlights interesting oceanographic effects on and below the water’s surface.

An unidentified member of the Expedition 67 crew captured the image on June 25 using a digital camera pointed out of an ISS window. The larger landmass at the heart of the photo is Milos, a 58 square-mile (151 square kilometers) Greek volcanic island, and its diminutive, uninhabited partner to the west is Antimilos, which is around 3 square miles (8 square km) in size. The silvery seas surrounding the islands are the Myrtoan Sea to the northwest of Milos and the Sea of ​​Crete to the southwest, both of which are part of the larger Mediterranean Sea. The image was released online Sept. 12 by NASA’s Earth Observatory.

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