From the vantage point of space aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan captured this image of a California wildfire. On his Facebook page, he said: “From the International Space Station I was able to catch these pictures of the California wildfires burning north of the Bay Area. Thinking of the people who have lost their homes and the brave first responders on the front lines protecting them.”
In addition, NASA’s Earth-orbiting satellites are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote regions, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to land managers worldwide within hours of the satellite overpass. Together, NASA instruments detect actively burning fires, track the transport of smoke from fires, provide information for fire management, and map the extent of changes to ecosystems, based on the extent and severity of burn scars. NASA has a fleet of Earth-observing instruments, many of which contribute to our understanding of fire in the Earth system. Satellites in orbit around the poles provide observations of the entire planet several times per day, whereas satellites in a geostationary orbit provide coarse-resolution imagery of fires, smoke and clouds every five to 15 minutes.
Learn more at www.nasa.gov/fires.
Image Credit: NASA