This Is Not a Painting

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This beautiful orange swirl looks like it could be an oil painting—but it is in fact a low pressure system currently floating above the Southern Ocean, just west of Australia.

The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Terra Satellite just yesterday. The orange hues are actually false color—MODIS detects far more of the electromagnetic spectrum that just visible light, and that's the best way to display its data—but that doesn't detract from the raw beauty of the image. [NASA via Discover]

Image by NASA Worldview