Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

January 13, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

El Niño Water Rhythm
Credit: TOPEX/Poseidon Team, CNES, NASA

Explanation: This year's El Niño is the strongest ever recorded. The large amount of warm water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator is causing unusual weather all over planet Earth. The above false-color images of Earth show the relative levels of warm water between normal (upper left) and the comparatively mild El Niño of 1995 - 1996. Red indicates a high water level. Detailed measurements of this years El Niño indicate the warm water level is rising and falling in rhythmic fashion, possibly in response to changing wind patterns.

Tomorrow's picture: A Distant Destiny

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.