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A cool visualization with Direct Graphics


Owen Kelley, a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and George Mason University, made this visualization of Hurricane Irene with programs he wrote using IDL Direct Graphics:


Dr. Kelley explains that he’s created:

“...an image of Hurricane Irene a few days before it hit North Carolina, using IDL to generate a 3D surface from the TRMM satellite radar data. In August, a NASA public affairs web site ran a story based on this sort of image, which I generated for them in near-real time.

The color coding indicates the height of the rainfall region inside of the storm. The inner red volume is the region of very heavy precipitation. The yellow circles are lightning flashes. The background is the satellite-observed cloud-top temperature. The green polygons at the lower left are small islands. The TRMM satellite overflight that collected all of these data occurred on 21 August 2011.

This image was entirely generated with IDL.  There was no retouching in Photoshop.”

Thanks, Owen! If you've made a cool visualization with IDL that you'd like to share, please send it to me and I'll post it.