Watch NASA’s mesmerizing new visualization of the 2017 hurricane season | Science News

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Watch NASA’s mesmerizing new visualization of the 2017 hurricane season

Supercomputers and advanced physics made the stunning new simulation possible

By
7:00am, November 20, 2017
Hurricane visualization

BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND  Hurricane Ophelia (its core appears here as a white dot at the lower right) dragged in dust from the Sahara and smoke from wildfires in Portugal as the storm spun northeast toward Ireland in October 2017.

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How do you observe the invisible currents of the atmosphere? By studying the swirling, billowing loads of sand, sea salt and smoke that winds carry. A new simulation created by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., reveals just how far around the globe such aerosol particles can fly on the wind.

The complex new simulation, powered by supercomputers, uses advanced physics and a state-of-the-art climate algorithm known as FV3 to represent in high resolution the physical interactions of aerosols with storms or other weather patterns on a global scale (SN Online: 9/21/17). Using data collected from NASA’s Earth-observing satellites, the simulation tracked how air currents swept aerosols around the planet from August 1, 2017, through November 1, 2017.

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