In late April, 2014, a severe weather system descended on the U.S. Central Plains, fueling intense thunderstorms and tornados. Among the hardest hit areas were the small towns of Mayflower and Vilonia, Arkansas. Sixteen people were killed and 400 to 500 homes were destroyed.
A few days later, NASA’s Aqua satellite saw clear evidence of the damage in the form of a brown trail – what scientists call a tornado track – across the otherwise green landscape in Mayflower. NASA’s Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this iamage on May 2.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.