Spacecraft captures images of glowing crabs on the Oregon coast


Spacecraft captures images of glowing crabs on the Oregon coast

Posted 12/4/21 at 7:42 PM PST
From employees of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Oregon Coast) – With commercial crab fishing off the Oregon coast opening on time for the first time in several years, the state’s crab fleet makes an impact in space. A National Weather Service (NWS) satellite managed to capture a huge pattern of glowing dots on the edge of the state’s coastline that turned out to be a spectacular shot of Oregon, with boats crawling from several miles up just behind our atmosphere. (Above courtesy of NWS – the cropped version. See untrimmed below)

It’s a stunning and unusual amalgamation of the Oregon coast and astronomy.

The NWS posted the photo this week after checking their satellite feed and finding not only the usual distinctive glow of city lights in the valley towns, but a bunch of dots right off the coast.

“Sometimes our #satellites can see more than just clouds,” the NWS Medford office said in a tweet.

The highest concentration of lights occurs just outside Counties Lane and Lincoln, in the center of the satellite image. The largest seems to be a bunch of them just outside of Florene on the central Oregon coast.

The picture was taken on Thursday evening, December 2nd – the day after the opening of the crab season for merchant ships.

This image itself is a fair example of crabfish along the Oregon coast, delighted to see the season open on time for the first time in about seven years since the 2014-15 season this year. In previous years there were serious delays, for example because the size of the crabs was not yet correct, the sea toxin concentrations were still in progress or price negotiations were taking place.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) tested crabs from Oregon’s six major crab ports in early November. They found that the crab harvesting areas in Oregon had high meat yields and were well below the warning levels for domoic acid.

Crab boats were allowed to set up their pots on Nov. 28, to allow for a Dec. 1 opening, and in fact, the entire Oregon Coastal Fleet fled.

Recreational harvesting of Dungeness crabs in the Oregon Ocean also opened as planned on December 1st in all areas. Recreational crab fishing in bays, estuaries and on beaches, docks, piers and piers is currently open across the coast. Recreational crabs should always call the Shellfish helpline (800-448-2474) or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures website before attempting to catch crabs.

Satellite imagery of the Oregon coast abounds in NWS satellites, two of which are named GOES-East and GOES-10, often referred to as GOES-West. The latter is the satellite snap weather image from space for this region. The above photo was taken on Saturday afternoon and mostly shows only clouds over the Washington and Oregon coasts. [Also see Seeing the Oregon Coast from Space and Vice Versa ]

NWS spaceships are equipped with some interesting weather gadgets that also include the ability to only display water vapor, as can also be seen here on this recording from Saturday.

See below for more spectacular shots of Oregon Coast crabs.

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Photo of crab boats off the northern Oregon coast courtesy of Seaside Aquarum

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