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NASA highlights mystery of UFO-like 'Cavum clouds' in satellite image

By T.K. Randall
March 2, 2024 · Comment icon 2 comments

Have you ever seen clouds like these ? Image Credit: CC-BY-SA 4.0 Cherubino / NASA
The phenomenon, which looks like someone has punched holes in the cloud cover, had puzzled scientists for decades.
Back on January 30th, the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured an image (above right) of an intriguing atmospheric phenomenon over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

From above, it almost looks as though someone has punched holes in the cloud cover, while from below, the phenomenon manifests as large saucer-shaped formations with additional wisps of cloud inside them.

It comes as no surprise that these unusual formations, known as Cavum or hole punch clouds, have produced quite a few UFO sighting reports over the years.

They are so peculiar, in fact, that for several decades scientists had struggled to explain what could be producing them.
It wasn't until relatively recently - around 2010 - that the mystery of Cavum clouds was finally solved.

It turns out that these strange circles are created when planes fly through altocumulus clouds.

"As air moves around the wings and past the propellers of airplanes, a process known as adiabatic expansion cools the water by an additional 20 degrees Centigrade or more and can push liquid water droplets to the point of freezing without the help of airborne particles," NASA explains on its website.

"Ice crystals beget more ice crystals as the liquid droplets continue to freeze. The ice crystals eventually grow heavy enough that they begin to fall out of the sky, leaving a void in the cloud layer."

Source: NASA Earth Observatory | Comments (2)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic 2 months ago
OMG, when they say its a cloud not a UFO, it actually looks like a cloud. On here  when something solid, almost definitely not a cloud is a cloud, they day it can't be a UFO. Lmao.  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Alchopwn 2 months ago
♥️ Great photos. Interesting article.


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