Mesmerizing NASA image shows clouds carved up by ‘gravity waves’ (PHOTO)
The blanket of clouds ripple as they cut around the British islands in the southern Atlantic ocean “like a ship carving its way through the sea” by a phenomenon known as “gravity waves”.
A Cut in the Clouds Like a ship carving its way through the sea, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands parted the clouds. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image on February 2, 2017. The ripples in the clouds are known as gravity waves. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response #nasagoddard
Gravity waves are formed by the rise and fall of colliding air. Here, moist air from the ocean is pushed down by gravity but then forced back up again by the dry air below rising from from the islands.
The movement keeps repeating over and again, creating a stunning pattern in the clouds.
The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on February 2.