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AND the weather forecast? It'll be out of this world..

Byline: By KEVIN McDONNELL

WITHOUT a cloud in the sky this amazing picture tells the true story behind last week's heatwave.

The remarkable satellite image of the country was taken last week by NASA.

The state-of-the-art space aqua probe orbited the Earth as the thermometer hit a sizzling 26C.

This beautiful shot was taken last Sunday from 200km above the surface of the planet during the blazing sunshine.

If you look carefully you can see the sprawl around Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Belfast... and why the country earned its nickname The Emerald Isle.

Images such as this would normally show the sea as being black.

But a large phytoplankton bloom out in the Atlantic makes the water brilliant blue and green.

Phytoplankton are microscopic plants that grow in the sunlit surface waters of the ocean. When enough of the plants grow in one place, the bloom can be seen from outer-space.

It truly is an out-of-this-world image and let's hope the same weather carries on for a few more weeks this summer.

CAPTION(S):

NASA satellites have captured the heatwave
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 11, 2006
Words:181
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