Earth from Space - Image Information

LOCATION Direction Photo #: ISS036-E-35665 Date: Aug. 2013
Geographic Region: MEXICO

Cloud Swirls and Ripples, Guadalupe Island, Baja California

Guadalupe Island (image left) is a volcanic edifice 35 km long that lies 240 km off the coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Winds on the August day this astronaut photograph was taken were blowing from the north (left), and gave rise to a series of eddies in the atmosphere which appear as circles and swirls in the clouds downwind of the island. Known technically as a Von Karman vortex street, obstacles of any kind can set up such vortices, from islands to craters to chimneys. The size of each swirl can be judged from the length of the island. Under ideal conditions clouds make the swirls visible.

A vortex street will only form under certain conditions of air speed, atmospheric stability and obstacle size. Conditions are ideal for production of vortex streets in the vicinity of Guadalupe Island, which is known to produce them almost every day in June, July and August. The phenomenon is named after Theodore von Karman (1881-1963), a Hungarian-American engineer and fluid mechanics expert.

Also visible at image top right is a series of parallel cloud lines. Known colloquially as "gravity waves," these are ripples at the boundary between layers of slightly different density within the atmosphere.

Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 325k
Mission: ISS036  
Roll - Frame: E - 35665
Geographical Name: MEXICO  
Center Lat x Lon: 28.0N x 118.5W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 100
Camera:: N5
Camera Tilt: 20   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 50  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: SE   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number:  
Date: 20130824   YYYYMMDD
Time: 200008   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 28.7N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 119.6W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 179   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 221   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 72   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views: ISLAND  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views: VON KARMAN VORTEX  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  

Photo is not associated with any sequences

Home Page
Home Page
JSC Digital
Image Collection
Earth Science &
Remote Sensing

NASA meatball logo
This service is provided by the International Space Station program and the JSC Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit, ARES Division, Exploration Integration Science Directorate.
ESRS logo