At any given time, nearly 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by clouds. The satellite images in this video gallery highlight some of the more unusual and beautiful clouds observed in recent years from all across our planet.
Love cloud images? Bastiaan Van Diedenhoven is a cloud scientist at NASA. Every few days, while browsing satellite imagery, Van Diedenhoven notices a unique cloud feature and shares it on Twitter. But you won’t see many storm images, Bastiaan said:
Storms are interesting, but they’re kind of obvious I guess I’m looking for things that other people won’t see.
The value in looking at clouds from space, according to Van Diedenhoven, is the big picture. For example, the wide, satellite view might show that clouds that are dropping rain on us today are actually part of a system that formed days ago over a completely different part of the planet. He added:
You’re really getting the perspective of the Earth as a whole, and as a complex system where many things interact. You don’t get that perspective if you look from below.
Bototm line: NASA video gallery of satellite images of Earth’s clouds.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.