Swirling clouds

Swirling clouds over the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Swirling clouds over the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

This false-colour Envisat satellite image, acquired on June 6, 2010, shows a unique cloud formation south of the Canary Island archipelago, some 95 kilometres from the northwest coast of Africa (right) in the Atlantic Ocean. The swirls near the bottom of the image are known as Karman vortices.

Seven larger islands and a few smaller ones make up the Canaries; the larger islands are (left to right): El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

Adapted from information issued by ESA.

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