Sunday, July 4, 2010

Image of the week : swirling cloud art

This is not art, but it looks like

This false-colour Envisat image (credits : ESA), acquired on 6 June 2010, highlights a unique cloud formation south of the Canary Island archipelago, some 95 km from the northwest coast of Africa (right) in the Atlantic Ocean.

Seven larger islands and a few smaller ones make up the Canaries; the larger islands are (left to right): El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, off the coast of North West Africa.

We can see, in particular, von Karman vortices formed by the cloud over the Canary Islands, colliding with the islands in their movement as the clouds form these beautiful swirls whose theoretical description is due to the aeronautical engineer Theodore von Karman.

Links :
  • Other Von Karman vortices image from Landsat (2002)
  • Clouds Streets and von Karman votices, Greenland Sea (2009) from NASA

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