Checked content

File:Typhoon saomai 060807.jpg


Some browsers may have trouble displaying this image at full resolution: This image has a large number of pixels and may either not load properly or cause your browser to freeze. Interactive large-image-viewer ( non-Flash)


Description Three different typhoons were spinning over the western Pacific Ocean on August 7, 2006, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this image. The strongest of the three, Typhoon Saomai, formed in the western Pacific on August 4, 2006, as a tropical depression. Within a day, it had become organized enough to be classified as a tropical storm. While Saomai was strengthening into a storm, another tropical depression formed a few hundred kilometers to the north, and by August 6, it became tropical storm Maria. Typhoon Bopha formed just as Maria reached storm status and became a storm itself on August 7.

As of August 7, the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Centre predicted that Bopha and Saomai would continue on tracks that would take each into China, while Maria would move northwest across the southern end of Japan. Saomai was predicted to gather strength, while Maria and Bopha were projected to remain near their current strengths.

This photo-like image was acquired at 12:35 p.m. local time (04:35 UTC) on August 7. It is unusual, but certainly not unprecedented, to have three storm systems all in the same general area at one time. The trio makes an interesting illustration of the evolution of tropical storm systems. Bopha, the youngest at just a few hours old, shows only the most basic round shape of a tropical storm. Maria, a day older, shows more distinct spiral structure with arms and an apparent central eye. Despite their differences in appearance, both storms were around the same size and strength, with peak sustained winds of around 90 and 100 kilometers per hour (58 and 63 miles per hour), respectively.

A day older than Maria is the much more powerful Typhoon Saomai. At the time of this image, the typhoon had sustained winds of around 140 km/hr (85 mph), and forecasters predicted that it would continue to gather strength before coming ashore in China, according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center. The typhoon’s well-developed structure (including a distinct, closed eye in the centre) in comparison to Maria is clear in this image.

The slanting diagonal feature through the image is sunlight bouncing off the ocean into the MODIS instrument, a phenomenon called sunglint. The very bright patch is where the reflection is strongest.
Date 7 August 2006
Author NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Centre.
( Reusing this file)
Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
NASA logo.svg
  • Use of NASA logos, insignia and emblems are restricted per US law 14 CFR 1221.
  • The NASA website hosts a large number of images from the Soviet/ Russian space agency, and other non-American space agencies. These are not necessarily in the public domain.
  • Materials based on Hubble Space Telescope data may be copyrighted if they are not explicitly produced by the STScI. See also {{ PD-Hubble}} and {{ Cc-Hubble}}.
  • The SOHO (ESA & NASA) joint project implies that all materials created by its probe are copyrighted and require permission for commercial non-educational use.
  • Images featured on the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) web site may be copyrighted.

1.8 MB version of this image: Image:Typhoon saomai 060807smaller.jpg

Annotations This image is annotated: View the annotations at Commons
The following pages on Schools Wikipedia link to this image (list may be incomplete):

I want to learn more...

SOS Children chose the best bits of Wikipedia to help you learn. SOS Childrens Villages is famous for the love and shelter it brings to lone children, but we also support families in the areas around our Children's Villages, helping those who need us the most. Help another child by taking out a sponsorship.