Picture of red tide taken from the NOAA Research Vessel Ron Brown
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NOAA
Robots Watch out for Poisonous Plankton!
News story originally written on January 30, 2003
Sometimes things that are very small can be very scary! Plankton that live in the sea are very small but some of them can be dangerous to people, fish and other animals. So, scientists have made robots to search the seas for the dangerous plankton!
Plankton float in the ocean and travel where the currents take them. There are many different types of plankton and only a few types are harmful. The harmful ones are special types of algae. Algae are small creatures with only one cell. They make their own food like plants do.
Most types of algae are very good. Animals like clams, fish and whales eat algae as food. But a few types of algae have poison in them and are not good for animals to eat. Sometimes the poisonous ones grow very fast and make a reddish cloud in the ocean water called a red tide. It is very important for people to not eat seafood that has the red tide poison in it.
Scientists have made special robots that travel around the oceans and look for poisonous algae. The scientists hope that the robots will help tell people who live near the ocean if there is a red tide coming.
Last modified January 31, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The sky was clear and the weather was great. This was the America's 123rd manned space mission. A huge...more
Scientists found a satellite orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is the second one ever! A special telescope allows scientists to look through Earth's atmosphere. The first satellite found was Dactyl....more
The United States wants Russia to put the service module in orbit! The module is part of the International Space Station. It was supposed to be in space over 2 years ago. Russia just sent supplies to the...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. ACE measured some exciting things as the CME material passed...more
Trees and plants are a very important part of this Earth. Trees and plants are nature's air conditioning because they help keep our Earth cool. On a summer day, walking bare-foot on the sidewalk burns,...more
There is something special happening in the night sky. Through mid-May, you will be able to see five planets at the same time! This doesn't happen very often, so you won't want to miss this. Use the links...more