In early October, the research vessel Bold Horizon set sail from Newport, Oregon, and joined a small fleet of planes, drones, and other high-tech craft chasing the ocean’s shapeshifting physics. NASA’s Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE) looks at whirlpools, currents, and other dynamics at the air-sea boundary. The goal is to understand how these dynamics drive the give-and-take of nutrients and energy between the ocean and atmosphere and, ultimately, help shape Earth’s climate.

Music credit: “Blue Switch,” “The Journey Begins,” “Sunbeams” from Universal Production Music

Drone Footage Credit: Leon Delwiche of NewFields

Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Kathleen Gaeta (GSFC AIMMS): Lead Producer

Dr. Andrey Shcherbina (APL): Lead Scientist

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio at: