NASA Scientists Find “Faces” in Earth’s Atmosphere

One of my favorite parts of being a human is my sighted human ability to find a face in pretty much anything. I’m hoping NASA scientists Lawrence Coy and Steven Pawson feel the same way, given this story from Earth Observatory about their hobby of finding faces in their data:

They spotted all of these “faces” while examining visualizations of wind and temperature data from a reanalysis called the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2). The reanalysis incorporates weather data from satellites and several other sources to simulate atmospheric conditions on a global scale.

“The best time to find faces is in the winter in the polar regions of the northern hemisphere,” Pawson said. “That’s when the dark conditions of the ‘polar night’ lead to a ring of westerly winds in the stratosphere that atmospheric scientists have long called the stratospheric polar vortex or circumpolar vortex.”

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