TIMELAPSE PHOTOS: Watch this polar vortex freeze us from space

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The Gawker blog, Sploid, shows us, through NASA images, the "polar vortex" that's dropping our temps to record lows. 

The time-lapse photos are from NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

According to NASA, a polar vortex is a wintertime feature of the stratosphere.

The vortex consists of winds spinning counterclockwise above the pole, the vortex varies in strength because of interactions with "planetary waves and global-scale disturbances that rise from the troposphere."

"The polar vortex acts like a big flywheel," Walter Robinson, a UI professor of atmospheric sciences, told NASA. 

Meteorologists at the Weather Channel say the cold front, displaying "life-threatening" temperatures in some locations, is the coldest front they've seen in decades. 

In Cincinnati, we are experiencing the coldest temps since 1996. The Tri-State is under a Wind Chill Warning until 5 p.m. Tuesday. 

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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