Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2023 November 29
Explanation: Could there be a tornado inside another tornado? In general, no. OK, but could there be a tornado inside a wider dust devil? No again, for one reason because a tornado comes down from the sky, but a dust devil rises up from the ground. What is pictured is a landspout, an unusual type of tornado known to occur, at times, on the edge of a violent thunderstorm. The featured landspout was imaged and identified in Kansas, USA, in June 2019 by an experienced storm chaser. The real tornado is in the center, and the outer sheath was possibly created by large dust thrown out from the central tornado. So far, the only planet known to create tornados is Earth, although tornado-like activity has been found on the Sun, and dust devils are common on Mars.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC,
NASA Science Activation
& Michigan Tech. U.