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Smoke from Canada Fires Seen as Aerosols in the Atmosphere

Smoke from Canada Fires Seen as Aerosols in the Atmosphere

For the past few weeks, fires have been raging across the Pacific Northwest and central Canada. The smoke from these fires not only is visible in true color imagery from the Suomi NPP satellite, but can also be measured using the VIIRS sensor. This image, using data from August 10-16, 2017, plots the average aerosol optical depth. The orange areas indicate a high concentration of aerosols, smoke, and hazy conditions moving north from the Pacific Northwest and east across Canada.Aerosols, small particles of dust, smoke, and other pollutants, scatter and absorb light. Satellites estimate the thickness (or concentration) of these aerosols by measuring how much light they block or absorb.More images of aerosols in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly averages can be seen in NOAA View.

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Courtesy of NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory