Tropical Cyclone Gonu, 2007

- Image ID: HRH6MX
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRH6MX
On June 4, 2007, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image, Tropical Cyclone Gonu was approaching the northeastern shore of Oman, a region better known for hot desert conditions. Though rare, cyclones like Gonu are not unheard of in the northern Indian Ocean basin. Most cyclones that form in the region form over the Bay of Bengal, east of India. Those that take shape over the Arabian Sea, west of the Indian peninsula, tend to be small and fizzle out before coming ashore. Cyclone Gonu is a rare exception. As of June 4, 2007, the powerful storm had reached a dangerous Category Four status, and it was forecast to graze Oman's north-eastern shore, following the Gulf of Oman. MODIS acquired this photo-like image at 12:00 p.m. local time (9:00 UTC), a few hours after the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Gonu's sustained winds to be over 240 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour). The satellite image confirms that Gonu was a super-powerful cyclone.