ESA Satellite Watches Gulf Oil Spill

PARIS, May 6 (UPI) — The European Space Agency says it is using its environmental satellite Envisat to track the potential movement of the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The ESA said the satellite’s advanced synthetic aperture radar is able to detect the direction in which the spill’s boundaries can drift and whether, as feared, the oil slick might be caught by the Gulf’s Loop Current — a strong stream that could drag the oil southward toward coral reefs in the Florida Keys.


Should that occur, ESA scientists said the current, which moves clockwise, might move the oil into the Gulf Stream, which then could move it northward along the U.S. east coast. But officials said no such movement has yet been detected.

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