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Volcanic Islands Swirling the Clouds {Photo of the Day}

The volcanic island of Guadalupe, seen below peeking through the clouds near the top of this image taken by the European Space Agency’s satellite Envisat, is the cause for the beautiful swirls in the clouds.

Called a ‘von Karman vortex’ the swirls that emanate from the volcano in this image are a result of wind-driven clouds encountering the island, flowing around the high volcanic outcrop and then reforming on the other side, creating large spinning eddies.

The image was taken on the 15th of June, 2011, and shows Guadalupe, approximately 250 kilomtres off the west coast of Mexico’s Baha California Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean.

Source: European Space Agency




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