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"Cloud Hole" Near Tasmania

There's a Hole in the Clouds!


This visible image of a "cloud hole" was taken near Tasmania in the Southern Pacific Ocean. It was captured on June 5 at 0500 UTC (1 a.m. EDT/U.S.) by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite.


This is a good visible example of how upper-level atmospheric features affect the lower atmosphere, because the cloud hole is right under the center of a strong area of high pressure. High pressure forces air down to the surface blocking cloud formation. In addition, the altocumulus clouds are rotating counter-clockwise around the hole, which in the southern hemisphere indicates high pressure.


Rob Gutro

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


NASA image use policy.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Uploaded on June 7, 2012