Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 23, 2012 – Dust, fires, and smoke in northeast Asia

By SpaceRef Editor
April 23, 2012
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The skies over northeast Asia were covered with smoke, clouds and dust in early April, 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Russia (north), China (southeast) and Mongolia (southwest) on April 20, 2012. A long line of red “hotspots” mark fires burning in eastern Mongolia, and other fires burn in northwestern China and along the Russia/China border. Plumes of gray smoke rise from these fires, and curl between the clouds, carried aloft by the same strong winds that blow the clouds into complicated patterns throughout the image. Mingled in with the clouds and smoke, particularly in the northeast section of the image, is yellowish-tan sand, most likely carried from Mongolia’s Gobi desert. On April 21, reported that thousands of firefighters were battling several wildfires raging through forests and grasslands in north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region. It also reported that fire burning in the country of Mongolia had breached the border with China in three places, stretching 20 km into Chinese territory. Strong winds and warm temperatures, along with dry grasslands, are considered to be contributing factors in the number and intensity of the fires in the region. Additional strong winds were predicted to hit the region on April 22.

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SpaceRef staff editor.