Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 9:20 EDT
Cloud Vortices off Heard Island South Indian Ocean
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Cloud Vortices off Heard Island, South Indian Ocean

April 10, 2013
Clouds swirl around Heard Island in the south Indian Ocean in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, acquired on September 30, 2004 by NASA’s Aqua satellite. Cloud vortices such as these occur when air close to the surface of the Earth flows over a mountain or an island. The eddies that form in the air as it moves around the obstruction create the delicate cloud pattern seen here. Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC