Earth from space: Irene's eye

Sep 02, 2011
This animation, comprised of two images taken simultaneously at 11:15 local time (15:15 GMT) on Aug. 27, 2011, with different Envisat sensors, shows Hurricane Irene, which struck the US east coast at the end of August. The first black and white radar image provides an unusual view of a hurricane as it shows the rough ocean surface through the clouds. In the centre of the image, a dark spot can be seen where the eye of the hurricane passed over North Carolina’s Outer Banks. This area of serene weather at the center of the hurricane was visible to the radar because calm water provided a smooth surface, appearing darker. The second image is from Envisat’s MERIS instrument and shows the typical spiral cloud pattern of the hurricane. Credit: ESA

This week we look at two images taken simultaneously with different Envisat sensors of Hurricane Irene, which struck the US east coast last week.

The first black and white image is from Envisat's radar, covering the of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

The radar provides an unusual view of a hurricane as it shows the rough through the clouds.

In the centre of the image, a dark spot can be seen where the eye of the hurricane passed over North Carolina's Outer Banks. This area of serene weather at the centre of the hurricane was visible to the radar because calm water provided a smooth surface, appearing darker.

The pattern of the hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean is evident: bright areas correspond to rough seas while the darker areas depict calmer waters. Dark areas may also be caused by heavy rainfall that reduces the radar signal.

The second image is from Envisat's MERIS instrument and shows the typical spiral of the hurricane.

The two images were captured at 11:15 local time (15:15 GMT) on 27 August. wreaked havoc along the coast as it continued north, leaving dozens of people dead and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Explore further: Images released of shipwreck in San Francisco Bay

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hurricane Ike tracked by ESA's Envisat

Sep 11, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Residents along the Gulf Coast are bracing for Hurricane Ike as it travels over the Gulf of Mexico after ripping through Cuba and Haiti. ESA's Envisat satellite is tracking the storm, which ...

Envisat Images Hurricane Gustav

Sep 05, 2008

The development and path of Hurricane Gustav is shown via a sequence of satellite images acquired by Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument on 25 August, 28 August, 30 August and ...

NASA sees record-breaking Julia being affected by Igor

Sep 17, 2010

Julia is waning in the eastern Atlantic Ocean because of outflow from massive Hurricane Igor, despite his distance far to the west. Satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that Julia's eye was ...

Recommended for you

NASA sees last vestiges of Tropical Depression Jack

17 hours ago

Tropical Cyclone Jack had weakened to a tropical depression when NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed above on April 22, 2014 at 1120 UTC/7:20 a.m. EDT.

New discovery helps solve mystery source of African lava

20 hours ago

Floods of molten lava may sound like the stuff of apocalyptic theorists, but history is littered with evidence of such past events where vast lava outpourings originating deep in the Earth accompany the breakup ...

Climate change likely to make Everest even riskier

21 hours ago

Climbing to the roof of the world is becoming less predictable and possibly more dangerous, scientists say, as climate change brings warmer temperatures that may eat through the ice and snow on Mount Everest.

User comments : 0

More news stories

On global warming, settled science and George Brandis

The Australian Attorney General, Senator George Brandis is no stranger to controversy. His statement in parliament that "people do have a right to be bigots" rapidly gained him notoriety, and it isn't hard to understand why ...

When things get glassy, molecules go fractal

Colorful church windows, beads on a necklace and many of our favorite plastics share something in common—they all belong to a state of matter known as glasses. School children learn the difference between ...

FCC to propose pay-for-priority Internet standards

The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose new open Internet rules that would allow content companies to pay for faster delivery over the so-called "last mile" connection to people's homes.