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Von Karman Vortices in the Atlantic (Image of the Week)

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Detailed Description

On March 3rd, near South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Landsat 9 captured this dream-like image. This natural color view shows a weather pattern known as a “Von Karman vortex street," caused by prevailing winds from the southeast. A vortex street is a fluid dynamics pattern that describes the chain of swirling clouds created when air passes a volcano, mountain or island. These patterns are striking when found in Landsat imagery, but not especially rare. In fact this same Landsat pass contains another Von Karman chain about 80 miles to the south. Landsat’s 50 year archive contains many other examples. Scientists and communities around the world use Landsat images like these to study the Earth’s fluctuating surface. To learn more, visit




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