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Cloud Vortices
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Cloud Vortices

June 14, 2007

Don't confuse the Prince Edward Islands with the Prince Edward Island off the coast of Canada! These Prince Edward Islands are two small, uninhabited islands in the sub-antarctic Indian Ocean that are politically part of South Africa. Both islands are volcanic in origin. The larger, southern island is called Marion Island, and is actually one of the peaks of a large underwater shield volcano. The northern island is called Prince Edward Island.

This image was captured on June 8, by the MODIS on the Aqua satellite.

Turbulence, caused by the wind passing over Marion island, is producing pronounced eddies that swirl the clouds into a pattern called a vortex "street".