The Big Picture: NASA images typhoon eye in stunning detail

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The Big Picture: NASA images typhoon eye in stunning detail

NASA's CloudSat has imaged the eye of a category 4 typhoon, a feat the space agency likened to a "golfer hitting a hole in one." Its cloud-penetrating radar has a field of view of just .5 square miles, making it a challenge to zone in on such a tiny, fast-moving target. The pass produced an accurate cross-section of the eye, as shown in the lower part of the image above. Researchers from Colorado State University also combined the data with Japan's MTSTAT infrared satellite to create a full 3D cross-section (below). CloudSat provides valuable wind data to forecasters, and is also helping scientists build more accurate climate models to better predict the effects of global warming.

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