Mini Project 2: Storm Edge finder, X marks the spots

The science bit- By looking at the changing shape we can study how elliptical or deformed the storms become and how fast this rate of change is. By looking at where they start disappearing, it may give us some insight into the practical limitations of investigating the full structure of these storms- or perhaps, into the sensitivity and resolution of the camera.

So, I have a question for all you Stormwatchers- What is the farthest away from the Sun you can trace the full shape of a Storm?

So to clarify, if you look at a single frame from a movie of a storm, what is the last point in time (which is the same as the furthest point in space) when you think you can accurately place an x at four positions: the front, the back, the top and bottom of the storm?

This is a slight modification and extension to an earlier mini project of finding circular storms. Here the idea is no longer emphasising a simple circle shape- so we can accommodate more awkward/bent/distorted shapes. But what is important is that you can draw an ‘x’ at a minimum of four crucial positions.

I reckon there are quite a few examples of these, so can you find any more storms where the centre of the four points can reach at least the centre of the camera? Below is an example highlighted in the circular storm thread by fellow Stormwatcher lolinda and marked as her favourite 2125. On the left, are unedited screenshots of the storm; on the right, I have drawn the four points and its rough shape on top of the screenshots. I reckon I can do this until 12.90, but then I loose the position of the top left of the storm. When do you think you last see the full shape?

Storm shape tracked

If you have other storms that can be investigated in this way and want to replicate what i did; then I simply took a few screenshots and pasted them quickly into PowerPoint (paint or any other simple picture editor would also work). I then roughly placed ‘x’ where I thought they were most appropriate and put an elliptical shape that roughly followed what I think the shape may be. If an ellipse is not the most ideal you can use a freeform line.

What is the last time you think you can both see and trace the shape?

Which part of the storm disappears first?

Happy hunting,


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