Scientists are viewing a photograph of an immense plume of snow wafting from Mount Everest to learn how winds redistribute precipitation in the Himalayas and other mountain chains.
On Jan. 28, as astronauts on the International Space Station passed over Tibet, they snapped a picture of Mount Everest. The image shows a long white plume extending eastward from the peak. Knowing the distance from Mount Everest to another mountain also visible in the image, physicist Kent Moore of the University of Toronto estimates that the plume is between 15 and 20 kilometers long.
Moore dismisses the possibility that the plume was a so-called banner cloud, a type that sometim