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Lightning Flashes and Gravity Waves in Tropical Cyclone Mahasen | by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
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Lightning Flashes and Gravity Waves in Tropical Cyclone Mahasen

Tropical Cyclone Mahasen is moving north through the Indian Ocean along a track that places landfall along the Bangladesh coast on May 16th around 1200Z. On May 13, 2013 the Suomi NPP satellite caught an interesting glimpse of the storm as it moved off the eastern coast of India. The VIIRS Day-Night Band was able to resolve lightning flashes towards the center of the storm, along with mesopheric gravity waves emanating outwards like ripples in a pond. These gravity waves are of particular interest to air traffic controllers so assist in identifying areas of turbulence. Since the moon was in a new phase, the lights and other surface features of India and Sri Lanka are clearly visible, though the clouds of TC Mahasen are not - a tradeoff that occurs as the amount of moonlight cycles throughout the month.




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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 May 15, 2013