Cloud Wakes behind Amsterdam Island$69.00 USD
More than 2,000 miles (3,000 km) from any continent, Amsterdam Island pokes out from the southern Indian Ocean at a point between Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. The product of a basaltic volcano that was last active about 200,000 to 400,000 years ago, the tiny elliptical island reaches an elevation of 2,844 feet (867 m) at its highest peak. As shown by this natural-color satellite image offered by Customaps, that peak was high enough to disrupt the clouds flowing around it, creating the shape of a tree.
The image was acquired by NASA's Landsat 8 satellite on November 2, 2014. It features mountain-wave clouds flowing in a southeasterly direction on the lee side of Amsterdam Island. Part of the island is visible “at the top of the tree” on the left of the image. Wave clouds can form when stable air flows over a raised land form. In this case, the island generated wave motions in the air passing over it, much like the bow of a ship creates ripples as it cuts through water. The crests of these waves raised and cooled the air enough to form clouds, while the troughs remain too low and warm for cloud formation. The result was this distinctive pattern in the clouds.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Customaps, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
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