A tight cluster of red dots in the top left of this image marks the location of numerous actively burning fires at the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains in northwest India. The image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on October 22, 2004, and also shows a thick haze dammed up at the base of the towering mountains at upper right. While smoke from the fires almost certainly contributed to the haze, there may also be residual dust from dust storms in the deserts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in previous weeks, as well as urban pollution from cities in Pakistan and India. The border between the two countries runs mostly along the eastern edge of the fertile Indus River floodplain, where vegetation stands out sharply against the paler, more arid terrain in the far left portion of the image. The Indus flows southward and empties into the Arabian Sea.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.