Giovanna slides into Madagascar

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Feb. 16 2012 10:30 AM

Giovanna slides into Madagascar

Not to overwhelm you with pictures of weather from space, but this is too amazing to pass up: 8000 km to the southeast of that Italian snowstorm, a different storm is slamming into Madagascar. Tropical cyclone Giovanna made landfall on the east coast of the island at 06:30 GMT Monday morning.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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This picture -- click to encyclonate -- again taken by the ESA's Envisat, shows just how big this storm is, about 1500 km from north to south, the size of Madagascar itself. What I said about the picture of snow in Italy goes double here: the violence of this storm is transformed into terrible beauty when viewed from above. I'll note that the satellite's orbital height is about 800 km, a bit over half the width of the storm it's observing.

Image credit: ESA



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