A mysterious vortex in the Earth’s body was noticed from space: its appearance still remains a mystery (photo)

The satellite captured an unusually cloudy “hurricane” located off the coastline of Spain and Portugal.

There are many space satellites orbiting above the earth, and every now and then they notice something strange on the planet. For example, in 2017, the NASA Earth Observatory satellite managed to capture an unusual cloudy “hurricane” off the coast of Spain and Portugal. Scientists are still not sure what causes this mysterious structure to spin, but they suggest ocean eddies and intense heat play a role, according to LiveScience.

The photo caught the attention of researchers in 2017 because it showed an unusual spiral of clouds perfectly positioned along the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The spiral occurs when moist, cloudy air from the sea rotates with clean, dry air from land, a phenomenon known as cyclonic rotation. Remember that the same mechanism underlies the formation of tropical storms such as hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.

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But there is a difference: In this case, the rotation was much slower and weaker than the rotation during tropical storms. As a result, cloudy and dry air did not mix properly and therefore its own vortex could not form. This also prevented clouds from passing over the ground.

The reason for this unusual mid-latitude rotation is still a mystery, according to Jospeh Munchak, a meteorologist at NASA’s Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Laboratory. But scientists still think it may have been caused by a vortex, a temporary flow of swirling water extending deep below the ocean surface.

It is known that in July 2017, an incredible heat wave swept across Southern Europe, creating a huge difference between the cloudy sea air and the dry air on land. It is believed that this may prevent the two fronts from mixing, resulting in the striking spiral shape. Data from NASA’s Earth Observatory shows that the photo was taken when temperatures in Spain and Portugal exceeded 40 degrees Celsius.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggests that spiral clouds are marine stratocumulus clouds, generally remaining below 6,000 feet, and can cover 6.5% of the planet’s surface at any given time.

Interestingly, marine stratocumulus clouds tend to appear only off the Earth’s western coast. Scientists state that this is because they are formed when cold water from the depths of the sea rises to the surface as a result of the rotation of the planet. This cools the air and allows water vapor to condense into clouds. At the same time, this effect is not seen on the east coast.

The mysterious spiral in the photo is believed to extend for hundreds of kilometers and possibly continue for several days. At the same time, scientists believe that this amazing phenomenon emitted almost no sediment during this time.

Previously Focus He wrote about NASA embarking on a search for habitable alien worlds: What tools do they use?

Source: Focus


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