Phenomena

Swirling Vortex

A swirling atmospheric vortex as observed from the International Space Station

So much of fluid dynamics comes down to finding the right way to observe a flow. This image of a swirling tropical system was captured by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station in April 2019. The low sun angle at the time makes the shadows stretch long across the cloud tops, giving them greater definition as well as a tint of sunset color. As drastic as the system looks from this angle, it was a short-lived vortex that never made landfall, so it was never officially named. (Image credit: Expedition 59 Crew; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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