Satellite view of Antarctica
A satellite view of Antarctica.

A field of bright green algae in Antarctica could be seen from space.

Australian scientists spotted the algae captured in satellite pictures, reports the Telegraph. The scientists believe that the growth has been caused by a build-up of iron, most likely caused by snow that blew into the waters.

The algae bloom, which is about 200 kilometres wide and 100 kilometres long, was photographed from the Modis instrument on Nasa's Terra Satellite, at least 650 kms from the Earth.

Mark Curran from the Australian Antarctic Division told ABC Radio that Antarctica's snow contained small amount of iron. He said during summer, Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica had experienced strong winds which would have blown the snow into the ocean.

"Very, very tiny amounts of iron act as a nutrient," he said.

"Usually algae in this region are iron limited and so when they get a small amount of iron and they have everything else they need, that's enough for them to bloom," he added.

The scientists said that the algae had been there for more than three weeks and would not cause any damage to the environment.

They said it would disappear automatically.