Best of Web – Tristan Martinez

Best of Web – Tristan Martinez

Von Karman vortex street appearing behind Heard Island. This photo was taken using the MODIS instrument on NASA’s AQUA satellite. Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

This is a photo of a beautiful Von Karman vortex street being shed in the wake of an island in the Indian Ocean. I think this is a wonderful example of what fluids research is all about. In a lab we are able to see this on a whim, but it is humbling to see a phenomenon like this on such a large scale. Especially in this class, where we photograph smaller flows often, it’s really interesting to realize that fluid flows can appear in nature in a way you wouldn’t expect.

Etling, Dieter. (2019). An unusual atmospheric vortex street. Environmental Fluid Mechanics. 19. 10.1007/s10652-018-09654-w.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Cole Smith
    Sep 14, 2022 21:48

    Second – This image is so unique from so many of the other Best of Web submissions just in terms of its scale, which is far larger than any of the other images. I think this is both beautiful as it’s a natural phenomenon and very fascinating because it’s thought provoking in terms of the large scale fluid flow constants that must be happening, especially since fluids effects can change in unexpected and non-logical ways at scale, but the Von Karman seen here is similar to that of smaller scales.

  • Anders Hamburgen
    Sep 14, 2022 21:02

    Second prize: I love these clouds. I actually submitted a photo of a Von Karman vortex over an island chain too, but took it down as soon as I realized you had already posted one!

  • Maridith Stading
    Sep 14, 2022 20:44

    3rd place – I think vortex clouds are amazing. I think turbulence is amazing and seeing it on a large scale is incredible.


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