NASA spacecraft sees tornado's destructive swath

Jun 06, 2013 by Alan Buis
The Newcastle-Moore EF-5 tornado ripped through central Oklahoma on May 20, 2013, killing 24 people and leaving behind more than $2 billion in damage. Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team

(Phys.org) —A new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the extent of destruction from the deadly Newcastle-Moore tornado that ripped through central Oklahoma on May 20, 2013.

The Newcastle-Moore tornado was rated at EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. An EF-5 is the most powerful category of tornado.

ASTER acquired this false-color image of the scar left on the landscape by the tornado's track on June 2, 2013. In the image, vegetation appears red, water is dark blue, roads and buildings are gray, and white and bare fields are tan. The tornado's track crosses the image from left to right, as indicated by the arrows. The image covers an area of 6 by 8.6 miles (9.6 by 13.8 kilometers), and is located at 35.3 degrees north latitude, 97.5 degrees west longitude.

The Newcastle-Moore tornado had peak winds estimated at 210 mph (340 kilometers per hour). It remained on the ground for 39 minutes over a 17-mile-long path (27 kilometers). As of June 5, the storm is known to be responsible for 24 deaths and more than $2 billion in damage.

With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal region and its of about 50 to 300 feet (15 to 90 meters), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on NASA's .

Explore further: NASA MASTER infrared view of the Powerhouse Fire, California

More information: More information about ASTER is available at asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

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User comments : 2

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VendicarE
1 / 5 (2) Jun 06, 2013
Why does God so hate God's country?

What have the Republican Red states done to earn his wrath?

Birger
not rated yet Jun 07, 2013
This reminds me of photos of WWII bombing damage, what is close up revealed to be terrible destruction is reduced to an indistinct band of a slightly different hue. I suppose this abstract representation of destruction is how Pentagon (and other military hierarchies around the world) views war.

And Vendicar has a point; if prayer was effective the Biblle Belt would be tornado-proof. And Germany, with a large number of believers, was hit hard by the recent storms while atheist Scandinavia was spared...

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