back to article Hypnotic wind map captures Earth's heavenly currents

Those readers slumped behind their desks in the traditional pre-Xmas torpor and who are looking for an alternative to watching the clock hands crawling towards Yule liberation are directed towards "earth" - magnificent animated views of the world's wind currents. Global wind currents shown on earth Using data from the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're right, it is addictive.

    1. Callam McMillan


      Well not for those of us at work who are stuck on IE8... It doesn't work :(

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Not only addictive, but remarkably trippy too

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Can't chat...

        ...I'm too busy watching green penguins racing around a blue london bus...

  2. Forget It

    pun warning

    I usually get the wind after Xmas

    - not before

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if we can use enough bandwidth to cause a system out tomorrow using this

  4. vulcan
    Thumb Up

    That is brilliant. As a new GA pilot the animations bring to life those synoptic charts we study when deciding if we can fly or not.

    And yes it is addictive

    1. bigtimehustler

      Haha, indeed true, i just wouldn't rely on someone elses programming skills you don't know too much about to solely make those decisions! You might have to check the boring old charts too.

  5. Bronek Kozicki

    now I see!

    ... why travel from US to UK so so much faster than the other way.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: now I see!

      I thought it was just that everyone was happy to be getting away from the US without being declared a terrorist, such that they put on a little extra burst of speed. Well you learn something new everyday...

  6. Anonymous Coward


    There are two spectacular cyclones in the Indian ocean right now.

    Edit: That's the first time I've been able to "see" down the eye of a cyclone. Astounding stuff.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    an El Reg ddos?

    I think cloudflare needs some better programmers. Because the ones that wrote their current ddos implementation sucked.

    I guess hasn't been /. before.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I don't bookmark much these days, but...


  9. Anonymous Coward

    Please post this sort thing on Friday afternoons

    as I'm now finding it unusually hard to fake productivity

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Please post this sort thing on Friday afternoons

      But it is Friday afternoon! Well it is now, here.

  10. Hero Protagonist

    Animated Van Gogh paintings

    I like the view from the South Pole

  11. Hero Protagonist

    Inspired by this perhaps?

    I new I'd seen something like this a few years ago, just found the bookmark. Same idea but in greyscale instead of color and US only:

    (Edit: just looked at the about page, he does credit as Inspiration)

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Please allow up to 5 seconds…

    Their definition of 5 seconds is quite different from mine.

  13. Mystic Megabyte


    What the hell is happening in NE Iceland?

    Is this where the UFOs are going down a volcano?

  14. Martin 15

    Land stops wind?

    I know I had read about it, but visually seeing the effect of a landmass is surprising (to me anyway).

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Land stops wind?

      At sea level, yes (I'm pretty sure that the wind speed 600m below where I'm sitting right now is sweet F.A.)

      Try increasing altitude to see lovely jet streams etc.: click on the word "earth" at bottom left and then choose a different height (as measured by pressure).

  15. Lost in Cyberspace


    Seems to work on iphone so no getting caught using the desktop

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great link.

    Using IE 10 I can move the earth and zoom but how do you change altitude and type of projection?

    1. Martin Budden

      click on the word "earth" at bottom left

  17. Potemkine Silver badge

    I'm watching it with Erik Satie in musical background... hypnotic Indeed.

  18. Swarthy Silver badge

    What is really interesting is looking just of the south-east coast of the US, around Bermuda. I think this just shows the origins of the Infamous Triangle. That is some funky air movement there, like a total becalming, with some decent wind speeds in all directions surrounding. that could cause some wicked fog, becalming, ...and then there's the question of what causes the funky pattern. And it's not just at sea-level, but it goes up a bit.

    /...Or I've been staring at the map too long, with too much caffeine in my system, and I am starting to trip out.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

  • Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays
    Laser experiments show their magnetic fields shielding their surfaces from radiation last longer

    Life on Super-Earths may have more time to develop and evolve, thanks to their long-lasting magnetic fields protecting them against harmful cosmic rays, according to new research published in Science.

    Space is a hazardous environment. Streams of charged particles traveling at very close to the speed of light, ejected from stars and distant galaxies, bombard planets. The intense radiation can strip atmospheres and cause oceans on planetary surfaces to dry up over time, leaving them arid and incapable of supporting habitable life. Cosmic rays, however, are deflected away from Earth, however, since it’s shielded by its magnetic field.

    Now, a team of researchers led by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) believe that Super-Earths - planets that are more massive than Earth but less than Neptune - may have magnetic fields too. Their defensive bubbles, in fact, are estimated to stay intact for longer than the one around Earth, meaning life on their surfaces will have more time to develop and survive.

    Continue reading
  • Earth's wobbly companion is probably the result of a lunar impact, reckon space boffins
    Reflected light points to Moon-like material on recently discovered rock

    A freshly discovered train-sized rock that tags along with Earth as a constant companion orbiting the Sun is most likely a fragment of the Moon resulting from an ancient lunar impact.

    469219 Kamo'oalewa – discovered by observers in Hawaii in 2016 – is about 41 metres in diameter and orbits the Sun in a trajectory not dissimilar from our own blue planet.

    Although the nearest of Earth's quasi-satellites (don't worry, it's minimum orbital intersection distance* with Earth is five million km), very little is known about the rock's origins owing to its tiny size and habit of dwelling in the darkness of space.

    Continue reading
  • Earthquake halts operations at two of Toshiba's chip factories
    6.6-rated rumble joins fire, snow, plague, and trade war as source of recent semiconductor supply chain SNAFUs

    A 6.6 magnitude earthquake that hit southwestern Japan around 1:00 AM last Saturday has led to the closing of Toshiba’s Oita semiconductor plant.

    The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said the 'quake may have caused significant shaking, making it difficult to walk unassisted and causing items on shelves to fall.

    The agency also warned that more tremors and earthquakes could occur in the immediate days following the seismic activity.

    Continue reading
  • NASA halts Mars comms for two weeks as Sun gets in way of Red Planet
    Who wouldn't want a break from Earth's noise?

    Martian spacecraft will get a temporary break from their normal work schedules when NASA pauses sending any commands from mission control during the upcoming Mars solar conjunction.

    Every two years, Mars and Earth find themselves on opposite sides of the Sun, completely invisible to each other because a glowing star spewing plumes of hot, ionized gas happens to be in the way. There’s no point trying to coordinate complex science operations during this stage, so NASA isn’t going to be uploading new commands to its numerous Martian rovers, landers, or orbiters from about October 2 until October 16.

    For example, the Perseverance, Curiosity, and InSight vehicles won’t be sending any raw images from their cameras back to Earth during the communications downtime. The Ingenuity drone will stop flying and rest on the ground 575 feet (175 metres) away from its handler Perseverance, although it will still send weekly status reports to the trundlebot that can be relayed back to Earth later.

    Continue reading
  • We need a 20MW 20,000-GPU-strong machine-learning supercomputer to build EU's planned digital twin of Earth
    And this machine will be used to *check notes* study climate change. Study it or cause it?

    Computer scientists attempting to build computational replicas of Earth to tackle climate change and environmental disasters reckon they will need a 20MW supercomputer with 20,000 GPUs to run a full-scale simulation.

    Starting mid-2021, the boffins will embark upon a seven-to-ten-year mission to create and deploy Destination Earth, or DestinE for short, which will be part of a €1tn (£868bn, $1.2tn) investment in green technologies by the European Union.

    And it is at the core of DestinE, we're told, you'll eventually find that GPU-stuffed supercomputer: a federated system capable of running artificial intelligence, data analytics, and other applications. Crucially, this super will bring together so-called digital twins of Earth, which are numerical models of our home world that simulate and forecast the weather and climate, ocean currents and polar caps, food and water supplies, the effect of humans on the environment, and so on.

    Continue reading
  • Pack your bags! Astroboffins spot 24 'superhabitable' exoplanets better than Earth at supporting complex life
    Just a short 100 or more light years away

    Astrobiologists have found 24 exoplanets that, compared to Earth, may have environments better suited to complex life like that found on our world.

    A team led by Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a professor at the planetary habitability and astrobiology at the Technical University Berlin, devised a checklist of requirements that an alien world must meet in order to be classed as a “superhabitable” planet, capable of supporting complex, oxygen-based lifeforms as seen here on Earth. After going through the records on 4,000 exoplanets, the team identified 24 candidates that tick the boxes, though bear in mind all of them are at least 100 light years away.

    Complex life is defined as organisms that are “macroscopic and multicellular,” Schulze-Makuch, also an adjunct professor at Washington State University in the US, told The Register. ”On a superhabitable planet, we would expect this type of life in addition to microbial life as well as animal-like and plant-like life.

    Continue reading
  • Everything's falling apart. The Moon is slowly rusting up – and it's probably Earth's fault
    We're not talking about the programming language, either

    The Moon’s surface is peppered with flecks of rust, according to research published on Wednesday.

    It’s a surprising discovery considering the natural satellite contains no free oxygen, which is needed to oxidize iron to make rust. Yet data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a NASA-designed instrument onboard the Chandrayaan-1, the first lunar spacecraft from the Indian Space Research Organisation, has pointed out deposits of hematite, a type of iron oxide, dotted around the Moon.

    "When I examined the M3 data at the polar regions, I found some spectral features and patterns are different from those we see at the lower latitudes or the Apollo samples," said Shuai Li, lead author of the study published in Science Advances and a researcher at the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

    Continue reading
  • FYI: Mind how you go. We're more or less oblivious to 75% of junk in geosynchronous orbits around Earth
    What a load of rubbish

    Three quarters of the orbital debris floating among satellites in geosynchronous orbits around Earth is not being tracked, an astronomical survey has revealed.

    The small bits of space junk identified by the study are often overlooked; they’re faint, small, and in a region that’s monitored less intensively than low-Earth orbit. As a result, scientists probing geosynchronous orbits above the equator found that the majority of debris located 36,000km out remains uncatalogued. That could be a problem – or more specifically, a danger – for any spacecraft placed in those orbits.

    James Blake, first author of the survey published in Advances in Space Research said that the debris is probably from old bits of metal that have broken off from ancient satellites from collisions, or from fuel explosions. “We can take an educated guess on where the debris is coming from,” he told The Register.

    Continue reading
  • We've heard of littering but this is ridiculous: Asteroid dumps up to 50 quadrillion kg of space dirt on Earth, Moon
    Sadly, missing all of us by 800 million years

    A massive asteroid broke apart within the inner Solar System and showered the Earth and Moon with up to fifty quadrillion kilograms of meteoroids, say a trio of Japanese scientists. That's approximately 30 to 60 times more cosmic material than the Chicxulub prang that thoroughly ruined the dinosaurs' day.

    The academics analyzed data from Japan's JAXA Moon orbiter Kaguya, and lunar regolith collected by NASA’s Apollo missions, and found tantalizing clues that several large craters on the Moon formed at the same time, some 800 million years ago. Eight out of the 59 cavities studied dated back to a time just before the Cryogenian period, when the Earth was covered in ice.

    One of the most prominent structures, the Copernicus crater, is surrounded by hundreds of smaller holes that were also created at the same time. “We determined the age distribution of lunar craters over three billion years, and we discovered the sporadic peak around several hundred million years ago,” Kentaro Terada, first author of a study into the findings, published in Nature Communications, and a professor of the planetary science group at Osaka University, told The Register.

    Continue reading
  • We're not all about rockets, says NASA: Balloon tech is good enough for economical star scanning
    Ahem, hey, any chance LOHAN can hitch a ride?

    NASA wants to lift a 2.5-metre-long, reusable far-infrared telescope into Earth’s stratosphere using a massive high-altitude balloon in 2023 to check out the heavens more economically.

    The mission, known as ASTHROS, short for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High-spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimeter-wavelengths, will gather a range of data to help scientists better understand star formation.

    The hardware will be lifted by a 400-foot (120-metre)-wide balloon to an altitude of about 24.6 miles (40km), allowing it to pick up signals blocked by Earth's lower atmosphere. It’ll only have about three weeks to study gas swirling around young stars, and nitrogen ions that reveal where massive stars and supernova have affected star-forming areas. Here's NASA's description of the mission:

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022