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Science Meets Art: Beautiful Satellite Imagery Reveals Huge Asian Dust Storm


Mar 28, 2023

A enormous dust storm more than Mongolia and China is revealed in magenta tones in this screenshot from a timelapse animation of Himawari-9 satellite imagery acquired on March 21, 2023. Please see beneath for the timelapse itself. (Credit: CIMSS Satellite Weblog)

Had been it not for the labels and national borders, the image above may well simply be mistaken for an abstract expressionist painting. But it is, in reality, a satellite image that reveals a sprawling dust storm more than Asia.

The storm arose as tightly juxtaposed places of higher and low atmospheric stress generated robust winds that lofted enormous amounts of dust more than Mongolia. The comma-shaped low-stress technique then whisked the dust all the way into northeastern China. In the image above, and the timelapse animation beneath, the dust shows up in shades of vibrant magenta and pink.

As the dust storm moved into eastern China on March 22, visibility plummeted in Beijing, and air good quality sensors there revealed soaring levels of particulate matter. In total, the dust impacted a lot more than 560 million men and women.

The luminescent colors and swirling patterns in the satellite views demonstrate how imagery at the intersection of science and art can present lovely and revealing perspectives on atmospheric events. An instance of what is identified as dust RGB imagery, the false-colour views had been designed applying diverse wavelengths of infrared light to distinguish airborne dust from clouds through each day and nighttime.

“I assume of RGBs as a location exactly where science meets art,” says Steven Miller, senior study scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Study in the Atmosphere. The colors are visually compelling and at the very same time maximize data content material about a complicated scene in a way that meteorologists can promptly interpret. “For the RGB to be most valuable, it have to clearly communicate many functions unambiguously inside a single show,” Miller explains.

Here’s the dust storm as visualized applying visible wavelengths of light:

An animation of correct-colour Himawari-9 satellite imagery reveals enormous amounts of dust getting entrained in a comma-shaped low stress technique more than Northern China in late March of 2023. (Credit: RAMMB-CIRA Satellite Library)

The evolution of the comma-shaped low-stress technique, and the dust it is sweeping across a vast area, is clearly evident. Even so, the Dust RGB imagery conveys a lot more data about what is going on in the atmosphere.

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