A pair of researchers found a new way to spot large ocean eddies by treating them like black holes of the sea, according to a release from the Swiss university Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich.
George Haller, professor of nonlinear dynamics at ETH Zurich, and Francisco Beron-Vera, research professor of oceanography at the University of Miami, found that the fluid movements were extremely similar to what’s known about black holes in space.
Researchers know large eddies exist but have a difficult time spotting them. The pair found that, like bending light on the edges of black holes, the water on the edges of ocean eddies form a circular pattern that makes them look like islands of water from satellite imagery.
Image: Mathematically speaking, ocean eddies are counterparts to the black holes in space. (Illustration: G. Haller / ETH Zurich)