This true-color scene shows a widespread pall of gray smog lingering over eastern China on September 27, 2004. The darker hue of the pollution—comprised of soot and sulfate particles produced by human industry—make it easy to distinguish from the much brighter, white clouds in this scene.
This image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. Click on the image above to access the high-resolution copy, which is 250 meters per pixel.
NASA image by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, produced using data courtesy of the
MODIS Rapid Response Team at Goddard Space Flight Center
Incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels like coal and wood leads to a build-up of haze in eastern China, where mountains and weather patterns can trap it for days at a time. This Terra MODIS image is a comparison of a hazy day and a relatively clear day in February 2005.