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Images: A Telescope to Peer into the Vast Ocean

The Video Plankton Recorder (VPR) is an underwater video microscope that images plankton and particles in the water as the instrument is towed behind ships. The VPRII system automatically identifies plankton from 500 microns to 3 centimeters in size and displays patterns of how they are distributed in the ocean in real time. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.)
WHOI biologist Cabell Davis stands beside his fast-tow Video Plankton Recorder (VPRII). Davis towed the VPRII nonstop across the Atlantic, while it continuously took images of plankton. (Photo by Melissa Patrician, WHOI.)
WHOI Research Associate Melissa Patrician and WHOI Research Engieer Fred Thwaites (second and third from left) secure the fast-tow Video Plankton Recorder (VPRII) on the deck of the research vessel Falkor, with crew and colleagues assisting. The team towed the VPRII at 10 to 12 knots across the Atlantic in 2012. (Photo by Fred Marin, Louisiana State University)
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