Monday, August 25, 2008


There's a lot happening in this MODIS image from NASA's Aqua satellite.
The ring shaped, rainbow-like glory in the centre is caused by the scattering of sunlight by a cloud made of water droplets that are all roughly the same size. It always appears in the spot directly opposite the Sun from the perspective of the viewer. It can appear on mountains and the giant shadow of the photographer is seen in the centre, the anti-solar point. In this image the Aqua satellite is too far away to cast a shadow.

In the upper right are phenomenon known as Von Karman Vortices. These appear downwind of islands tht perturb the flow of air like a boulder creates an eddy downstream in a river. This image was taken on May 20, 2008, over the Pacific Ocean.

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