(credit: William L. Stefanov, Jacobs at NASA-JSC)

(credit: William L. Stefanov, Jacobs at NASA-JSC)

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Great Lakes algae blooms are so big you can see them from space.

When astronauts recently visited the International Space Station they noticed that something was different about Lake Ontario. It wasn’t the usual blue, but had a greenish hue — and giant algae blooms covering almost all of the lake are to blame.

The photo above was snapped on Aug. 24 of this year.

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, the Aqua satellite captured a view of this at the same time.

Algae blooms form when  warm water and nutrients — such as sewage run-off and phosphorus from industrial farms and detergents — combine.

This isn’t good, say scientists, who explain that algae blooms consume all the oxygen in the water — killing off all kinds of surrounding life.

Check out more images of Earth taken by NASA in the “Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth” at this link.


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