Milky-colored ripples on the Atlantic Ocean trail behind the Canary Islands (map) off the west coast of Africa in this June 15 image snapped by NASA's Terra satellite.
Thanks to a vantage point 450 miles (725 kilometers) above the Earth, strange patterns caused by strong winds on the ocean's surface become visible in the play of sunlight on the water.
The rocky, volcanic islands redirect the strong northwest winds that come up against the coast, forming a wind shadow on the southwest side of the islands. This shadow creates distinct helical cloud trails and alternately smooth and choppy waters, which change how light is reflected.
Space Pictures This Week: Mercury's Marks, Miracle Delta
A celestial penguin guards her egg and wildfires are spotted from space in this week's best space pictures.