Hi-res satellite captures glorious image over Guadalupe Island

By: Angela Fritz , 9:48 PM GMT on July 11, 2012

The MODIS satellite instrument captured an amazing and beautiful view from space on Wednesday: a "glory" and a von Karman vortex train over Guadalupe Island (not to be confused with Guadelupe).


Glories are similar to rainbows in that they're caused by sunlight and water droplets, but they form in a slightly different way. A glory is typically seen in the fog when the shadow of the observer is cast onto the the mist or fog, and is always seen opposite the sun from the perspective of the viewer. You maybe have seen a glory when on a flight, looking down at a deck of clouds. There will appear to be a halo around the plane's shadow. In this case, the "viewer" is the satellite. Glories appear as circles, but, as NASA says:

MODIS scans the Earth’s surface in swaths perpendicular to the path followed by the satellite. And since the swaths show horizontal cross sections through the rings of the glory, the glory here appears as two elongated bands of color that run parallel to the path of the satellite, rather than a full circle.

von Karman Vortex?

This is a pattern of swirls in a fluid, named after the scientist that discovered the conditions under which they occur. Have you ever put your finger in a flowing stream of fluid? These swirls form in the wake of an obstacle. In this case, the obstacle is Guadalupe Island, and the fluid is the atmosphere. When thin, stratocumulus clouds are present, we're lucky enough to see the phenomenon (from space, of course).

See the full resolution version here.


Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 12 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

12. sunlinepr
4:15 PM GMT on July 21, 2012
Quoting Ossqss:
That is awesome! Thanks

More if interested?

http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/education-and-outre ach/additional/science-focus/ocean-color/science_f ocus.shtml/vonKarman_vortices.shtml

What an interesting science of weather patterns....
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 22 Comments: 10206
11. 954FtLCane
4:00 PM GMT on July 21, 2012
WOW. Awesome. I had to post this pic and a link on Dr Master's blog. I hope you don't mind.
Member Since: September 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
10. TreyUfford
9:10 AM GMT on July 20, 2012
That is awesome! Thanks
Member Since: July 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
9. Ossqss
2:40 AM GMT on July 19, 2012
That is awesome! Thanks

More if interested?

http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/education-and-outre ach/additional/science-focus/ocean-color/science_f ocus.shtml/vonKarman_vortices.shtml

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8222
8. GeorgiaStormz
3:02 PM GMT on July 17, 2012
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9897
7. pcola57
7:28 PM GMT on July 16, 2012
Only from modern technology can we experience these types of views..oh what a time we live in..
Thanks Angela :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 7058
6. redagainPatti
8:47 PM GMT on July 14, 2012
this is so darn cool... maybe this is why a lot of times when we have storms roll from the West over my town, the stuff seems to break in to two bits to have one part roll north of town while the other part, sides south of us!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 136 Comments: 1626
5. pottery
1:11 AM GMT on July 13, 2012
Thanks for this, Angela.
Very nice !
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 27097
4. ycd0108
11:43 PM GMT on July 11, 2012
Good afternoon Angela:
Yes, I have been interested in these sun dogs and whatnot for some time now - who wouldn't be - My mother had a good story about how these phenomena can be a used to accurately predict weather: She saw a "Fog Bow" around the early sun one day while walking along the beach in front of Sechelt First Nations Houses. The first fellow she talked to said:
"Fine weather coming."
Later on another assured her there was bound to be a big storm soon.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 228 Comments: 6293
3. Patrap
10:50 PM GMT on July 11, 2012
Fractal's are common through out nature.

Schweeeet Image.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 454 Comments: 144418
2. Angela Fritz , Atmospheric Scientist
10:48 PM GMT on July 11, 2012
That's actually a real rainbow. This is kind of an anti-rainbow.

You realize that there's one around your head in your profile photo, right? :)
Member Since: May 2, 2011 Posts: 57 Comments: 636
1. ycd0108
10:27 PM GMT on July 11, 2012
Holey Smoke?
I have seen rainbow parts below the shadow of the plane but never a complete circle. Seems to me one can see it with a fine spray from a garden hose down sun line. Maybe if I climb a step ladder and try it there would be enough reinforcement of the colors to show a bow before the water hits the ground?
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 228 Comments: 6293

Viewing: 12 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Angela's Blog

About angelafritz

Atmospheric Scientist here at Weather Underground, with serious nerd love for tropical cyclones and climate change. Twitter: @WunderAngela

angelafritz's Recent Photos

please archive
Flowers on Mount Tamalpais