NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 April 2023: Chilling water tornado | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 April 2023: Chilling water tornado

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day for 23rd April shows a stunning waterspout in Florida. What is it? Read on.

| Updated on: Apr 23 2023, 12:38 IST
Top NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Auroras, Dark Seahorse Nebula and more
1/5 Red ring of ELVES (April 17) - It is a snapshot of ELVES lighting up the sky over Italy, a distinct type of transient luminous event. ELVES refers to the Emission of Light and Very Low-Frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic Pulse Sources. The red ELVES captured in the image had a radius of approximately 350 kilometers and occurred at an altitude of about 100 kilometers above the surface, according to NASA. (NASA/Valter Binotto)
2/5 Map of Total Solar Eclipse path (April 18) - It is the map of the total solar eclipse path which will take place on April 8 next year. Viewers in locations outside the paths will not experience a total solar eclipse or annular eclipse, but they may still see a partial eclipse. Lines running parallel to each path indicate how much of the Sun will become covered by the Moon during the partial eclipse. (NASA/SVS)
3/5 Auroras in Finland (April 19) - This captured image shows auroras lighting up the sky in Saariselka, in northern Finnish Lapland. It was a result of a powerful CME hitting Earth and the auroras could be seen not only in the North but as far as New Mexico, according to NASA. The bright auroras were seen in yellow, green, red and purple auroral colours, mesmerizing skywatchers and tourists. (NASA/Juan Carlos Casado (Starry Earth, TWAN))
4/5 Dark Seahorse Nebula (April 20) - Barnard 150, also known as the Dark Seahorse Nebula, is one of the most peculiarly shaped nebulae, located about 1200 light-years away towards the constellation of Cepheus. It is a dark molecular cloud and is so dense that the dust within blocks visible wavelengths of light. Telescopes that see visible light only detect ghostly dark patches in the sky, called Dark Nebulae. (NASA/Jeff Herman)
5/5 Hybrid Solar Eclipse (April 21) - It is a snapshot of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse which occurred yesterday, April 20. It crossed over remote parts of Australia, Indonesia and East Timor and was live-streamed by websites such as Perth Observatory, and the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory and more. According to NASA, this hybrid solar eclipse lasted just 62 seconds. (NASA/Gwenael Blanck)
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Waterspout is kind of a tornado over water bodies. Know how it forms. (Image Credit & Copyright: Joey Mole)

NASA shares with the public a different captivating image of the fascinating universe every day. Today, NASA has shown a rare and chilling sight of a water phenomenon on Earth. "What's happening over the water? Pictured here is one of the better images yet recorded of a waterspout, a type of tornado that occurs over water," NASA has explained while sharing a mind-numbing image. In July 2013, the featured image was captured near Tampa Bay, Florida. It's widely believed that the Atlantic Ocean located off the Florida coast is one of the most active areas globally for waterspouts, with numerous formations occurring annually.

But what exactly are the waterspouts? How does a water tornado occur? Read on to know.

What are waterspouts?

Spinning columns of moist air rising over warm water are known as waterspouts. They can be just as hazardous as tornadoes, with wind speeds exceeding 200 kilometers per hour. Interestingly, some waterspouts develop without thunderstorms and in fairly calm weather conditions. Initially, they can be relatively transparent and only noticeable by the peculiar pattern they leave on the water's surface.

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The NOAA classified these waterspouts into two categories: tornadic waterspouts and fair weather waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts are essentially tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water, NOAA explained. They share the same characteristics as land-based tornadoes and are often accompanied by severe thunderstorms, high winds, large hail, and dangerous lightning.

On the other hand, fair-weather waterspouts typically form along the dark flat base of a developing cluster of cloud lines. This kind of waterspout is not usually associated with thunderstorms. Unlike tornadic waterspouts, fair-weather waterspouts develop on the surface of the water and move upwards.

Danger of waterspout

In the event that a waterspout moves toward land, the National Weather Service will release a tornado warning, as some waterspouts can lead to significant damage and injuries to individuals. Normally, fair weather waterspouts quickly dissipate once they reach land, and seldom extend far into inland areas.

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First Published Date: 23 Apr, 12:37 IST