Credit: NASA/Goddard/Jen Shoemaker

Two NASA satellites are capturing images of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which began April 20, 2010, with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. This series of images reveals a space-based view of the burning oil rig and the ensuing oil spill, through May 24. The imagery comes from the MODIS instruments aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The oil slick appears grayish-beige in these images. The shape of the spill changes due to weather conditions, currents and the use of oil-dispersing chemicals.

The images in this video were selected to show the spill most clearly. The full image archive is available at For more information and imagery about the oil spill, visit NASA’s Oil Spill website. Imagery and information about the oil spill is also available on NASA’s Earth Observatory Natural Hazards website.