27 August 2013
Suomi Satellite Nighttime Visible image of Yosemite Fire
Posted by Dan Satterfield
An amazing image here from the incredible nighttime visible sensor on the Suomi NPP satellite. You can see the horseshoe-shaped Rim fire now burning in Yosemite Park. Note the city lights of Las Vegas shining through the high cirrus deck over southern Nevada. As the planet warms in coming decades there is ever growing evidence that dry places like the U.S.West will get much drier still….
More from NASA:
The winter of 2013 was among the driest on record for California, setting the stage for an active fire season. By August 26, the Rim Fire had made its way into the record books. At just 15 percent contained, the fire is now the 13th largest in California since records began in 1932. Apart from being large, the fire is also threatening one of the United States’ greatest natural treasures: Yosemite National Park.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite tracked the growth of the fire between August 23 and August 26 in this series of nighttime images. The VIIRS day-night band is extremely sensitive to low light, making it possible to see the fire front from space. The brightest, most intense parts of the fire glow white, exceeding the brightness of the lights of Reno, Nevada to the north. Pale gray smoke streams north away from the fire throughout the sequence.
The NASA DC-8 aircraft flew over the fires and sampled the smoke as part of the SEAC4RS campaign. See
and readers can find out more about this research here: http://espo.nasa.gov/missions/seac4rs/content/SEAC4RS