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'O'-shaped cloud spotted over the Pacific

Photo courtesy: NASA

Photo courtesy: NASA

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    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 3:21 PM -

    On September 3, NASA's Terra satellite picked up a giant O-shaped cloud over the Pacific.

    While O-shaped clouds aren't uncommon, this one stands out because it forms such a well defined circle.

    The formation was spotted as it moved over the Pacific to the Hawaiian Islands. NASA made the image public on Saturday.

    RELATED: Five photos of scary storm clouds

    The O-shape is the result of convective clouds that develop due to temperature changes. Open-cell formations tend to take on the shape of an O, like the September 3 cloud.

    According to Live Science, meteorologists suspect the cloud formed when sun heated the air as it moved over an area of warm ocean water. The warming air caused light rain clouds to form, allowing for cooler air under the clouds.

    The cold air probably caused a downdraft and as the cool air sank, it pushed warm air up -- resulting in an 'O' shape.

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