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Unique Space Image of Alabama Tornado Tracks

May 16, 2011: NASA has released a unique satellite image tracing the damage of a monster EF-4 tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27th. It combines visible and infrared data to reveal damage unseen in conventional photographs.

“This is the first time we’ve used the ASTER instrument to track the wake of a super-outbreak of tornadoes,” says NASA meteorologist Gary Jedlovec of the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

Tornado Tracks (ground track, 550px) 

An ASTER visible-IR image of tornado damage near Tuscaloosa, AL. [larger image]

In the picture, captured just days after the storm, pink represents vegetation and aqua is the absence of vegetation. The tornado ripped up everything in its path, scouring the Earth’s surface with its terrible force. The “tearing up” of vegetation makes the tornado’s track stand out as a wide swath of aqua.

Read more: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/16may_groundtracks/

 

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