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Kármán Vortex Streets in Wake of Canary Islands – August 8th, 2010

28.2N 16.5W

August 8th, 2010 Category: Clouds, Image of the day

Canary Islands - August 5th, 2010

The clouds below the Canary Islands, an archipelago off the western coast of Africa that belongs to Spain,  form lines of swirls towards the southwest. These lines are called Kármán Vortex Streets, a double row of line vortices in a fluid.

Under certain conditions a Karman vortex street is shed in the wake of bluff cylindrical bodies, such as the Canary Islands, when the relative fluid velocity is perpendicular to the generators of the cylinder. This periodic shedding of eddies occurs first from one side of the body and then from the other, an unusual phenomenon because the oncoming flow may be perfectly steady.

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