28 February, 2005

karman vortex clouds

karman vortex clouds, originally uploaded by timon and keely.

so, i can't help but post a few satellite images from time to time. i spend a significant part of every week looking at satellite imagery for my work at the american museum of natural history in new york. i can't believe how beautiful the earth still is. looking at it from space is a treat.

this is a real image of clouds. these vortices appeared over alexander selkirk island in the southern pacific ocean. they are called a karman vortex cloud streets and happen every so often when cloud streets encounter an obstacle. in this case, the obstacle is an island that rises precipitously from the surrounding waters, the island̢۪s highest point is nearly a mile (1.6 km) above sea level. as wind-driven clouds encounter the island, they flow around it to form large, spinning eddies.

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