Image of the week
Interesting Images from Around the Universe
Stunning images captured on earth or from space
Gibraltar is a British Territory on Spain's south coast and is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426 meter-high limestone ridge. This is a great photo of rare Kelvin-Helmholtz wave clouds seen on September 26th, 2019 caused by wind shear in the flow over the Rock of Gibraltar. Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are named for Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz, who studied the physics of the instability that leads to this type of cloud formation. The upper layers of air are moving at higher speeds and will often scoop the top of the cloud layer into these wave-like rolling structures. (Photo courtesy Cerianne Pizarro, MeteoGib (twitter)).
This photo was taken in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Monday, August 19th in a very unstable atmosphere. There is a moist outflow from one storm with a shelf cloud being lifted by the updraft of another storm. A shelf cloud is a low-hanging, well-defined wedge-shaped formation that occurs along the leading edge of a gust front in a thunderstorm. Shelf clouds most often form just ahead of intense lines of thunderstorms.
On July 16th, 2019, the full Moon passed through the shadow of Earth, plunging as much as 65% of the lunar disk into darkness. Only a small amount of the Moon was shadowed and sky watchers in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America saw at least part of the 3 hour event - only North Americans were excluded. The next significant lunar eclipse won't happen until May 2021. Image courtesy spaceweather.com (Alange Castle in southern Spain, photographer Juan Manuel Pérez Rayego).
The Key West National Weather Service noticed that the refinery explosion in Philadelphia last Friday (6/21/19) was captured on satellite. The heat signature is so large and hot it could be detected using infrared imagery.
.The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, the East Coast's largest oil refinery, was extinguished Saturday afternoon, fire department and city officials said in a statement Sunday.
Deep upper-level low pressure has pushed off the Mid-Atlantic coastline on Monday, April 22nd and it is spawning the formation of a coastal storm. This developing storm will impact the NYC metro region and New England with rain and perhaps even as far to the south and west as the Philly metro region.
GOES-16 satellite image on April 3 features an April Nor’easter which pounded the eastern part of New England and only skirted the DC-to-Philly-to-NYC corridor. Image courtesy NOAA
Thanks to heavy rain and snow this winter season, many colorful flowers are blooming in California and they can be seen in this satellite image (March 20, 2019, courtesy Digital Globe, Capital Weather Gang twitter)
Incredible footage shows driver passing through 41 FEET of snow near Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada (March 10, 2019). A driver passing through a road near Lake Tahoe filmed the captivating scene as huge walls of snow were split in parts on either side of the road. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows announced it will extend its ski season through July 7 this year due to record snowfall levels following a recent storm. Officials claimed the area had exceeded the 50-foot mark at Squaw Valley's upper mountain on Friday, while several other resorts have gone over 500 inches for the season.
Great Lakes ice cover extent has increased dramatically in recent days thanks to an intrusion of Arctic air. The ice cover content has increased to nearly 75% (as of March 3, 2019) and it is likely to increase further in coming days as the unusual cold spell continues.
A color enhanced image from GOES-16 on January 31, 2019 shows significant ice coverage over Lake Erie. Ice and snow have a "red" hue here, while clouds have a tinge of "blue".
On Sunday, January 20th, 2019, there was a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse visible in both North and South America. An Arctic air mass in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast US made for very cold viewing conditions, but the air was also very dry which improved the clarity of the moon during this space event.
GOES-17 satellite imagery features a monstrous storm over the Pacific Ocean which is producing near hurricane-force winds (January 7th, 2019). Wave heights of up to 45 feet have been analyzed near this powerful system.
Known as the green “Christmas comet”, even the northern lights over Norway could not prevent it from being seen on Monday night, December 17th, 2018.
A GOES-East satellite image reveals the deep snow pack that still remains across much of western North Carolina and southern Virginia. Clouds can be seen off the east coast and over the Great Lakes, but clear skies over the snow pack allow for great viewing today, Wednesday, December 12th.
Since 13 September, European Space Agency’s Mars Express has been observing the evolution of an elongated cloud formation hovering in the vicinity of the 20 km-high Arsia Mons volcano, close to the planet’s equator.
In spite of its location, this atmospheric feature is not linked to volcanic activity but is rather a water ice cloud driven by the influence of the volcano’s leeward slope on the air flow – something that scientists call an orographic or lee cloud – and a regular phenomenon in this region.
The cloud can be seen in this view taken on 10 October by the Visual Monitoring Camera (VMC) on Mars Express – which has imaged it hundreds of times over the past few weeks – as the white, elongated feature extending 1500 km westward of Arsia Mons. As a comparison, the cone-shaped volcano has a diameter of about 250 km.
Mars just experienced its northern hemisphere winter solstice on 16 October. In the months leading up to the solstice, most cloud activity disappears over big volcanoes like Arsia Mons; its summit is covered with clouds throughout the rest of the martian year.