A NASA satellite detects a strange phenomenon that has sparked conspiracy theories A NASA satellite detects a strange phenomenon that has sparked conspiracy theories

A NASA satellite detects a strange phenomenon that has sparked conspiracy theories

A NASA satellite detects a strange phenomenon that has sparked conspiracy theories

A NASA satellite was able to capture images of a strange phenomenon in the clouds that appeared over the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida on January 30, 2024.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite quickly imaged the rare phenomenon known as a "fallstreak hole."

The term "cloud hole" refers to a rare atmospheric phenomenon in the clouds that forms a large, surreal hole that is usually circular or oval, as if it were precisely cut out.

The appearance of these clouds sparked conspiracy theories, as some expected their origins to be the result of flying saucers or some other unspecified phenomenon. However, its origins are less exciting according to experts.

While the “cloud hole” phenomenon has eluded scientists since the 1940s, they were able to uncover its mysteries after a series of studies in 2010 and 2011.

A team led by scientists at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) dispelled all conspiracy theories about UFOs and aliens, proving that the "cloud hole" is formed by planes moving through cumulonimbus clouds, which are patchy groups of small clouds that form... At an altitude ranging between 7,000 and 23,000 feet.

Cumulus clouds consist of very cold liquid water droplets located at intermediate levels in the Earth's atmosphere.

According to a NASA blog, supercooling occurs when these droplets are pure water, indicating the absence of particles such as dust and bacteria, around which ice crystals can form.


Cumulus clouds cover about 8% of the Earth's surface, and maintain a super-cold state at about -15 degrees Celsius. However, when aircraft cut through these clouds, the air interacts with the aircraft's propellers, resulting in adiabatic (non-reciprocal) expansion.

This expansion cools the water by an additional 20 degrees Celsius or more, forcing the pure water droplets to freeze. As the droplets freeze, they aggregate, grow in size, and eventually fall from the sky, leaving behind a void in the cloud layer.

Researchers from the University Foundation for Atmospheric Research collaborated with NASA's Langley Research Center and other institutions to delve deeper into the mechanisms of formation of the "cloud hole" phenomenon.

Unlike previous studies, the team used a combination of aircraft flight data, satellite observations, and weather models to explain how these clouds form and shed light on the factors affecting their length.

Scientists at NASA's Langley Research Center found in 2010 that the deeper the angle a plane takes to pass through clouds, the larger the resulting hole.

Data analysis showed that any type of aircraft can produce the "cloud hole" phenomenon.

Scientists have identified additional variables that affect the length of these clouds. These factors include the thickness of the cloud layer, air temperature, and horizontal wind shear (a climate phenomenon resulting from a sudden difference in wind speed or direction).

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