Each of these swirling clouds is a result of a meteorological phenomenon known as a Karman vortex. These vortices appeared over Alexander Selkirk Island in the southern Pacific Ocean. Rising precipitously from the surrounding waters, the island's highest point is nearly a mile (1.6 km) above sea level. As wind-driven clouds encounter this obstacle, they flow around it to form these large, spinning eddies. Image courtesy of USGS National Center for EROS and NASA Landsat Project Science Office.
Originally uploaded in CLEAN:Teaching Climate and Energy.
Image 26144 is a 1224 by 1224 pixel JPEG
Uploaded: Sep30 10