Visualization of the Earth's ocean surface currents around from June 2005 to December 2007
by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio (Flickr)
The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center created this beautiful animation called Perpetual Ocean which visualizes the ocean's surface currents over a 30-month period between June 2005 and December 2007.
The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.
This visualization was produced using NASA/JPL's computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2.
ECCO2 is high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice.
ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.
The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization.
The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry.
Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.
The animation was created using NASA and JPL's high-resolution model of the global oceans, which is normally used for running simulations and predicting changes in the currents.
But this time the results were exaggerated to produce this short film that looks like it sprang from a Vincent Van Gogh canvas.
Once again Mother Nature, you've bested our most talented artists.