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Kakadu National Park, Australia

The Landsat image shown here covers parts of Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory. Note the large black burn scar toward the lower righthand corner of this scene. The fire was still burning when this image was acquired — the active fire front appears as the thin line of reddish-orange pixels along the southern side of the burn scar. The associated smoke plume appears as the faint bluish pixels streaming westward in this false-color image.

Kakadu National Park is one of the natural marvels of Australia. It comprises an area of 20,000 square kilometers of coastal fringes, wetlands, woodland plains, rainforest, rolling hill country, and elevated rocky outliers, bordered by the Arnhem Land tablelands to the east. The park is classified as a world heritage for both its cultural values and its natural significance in an international context. The land is jointly managed by the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and tribal elders representing the traditional owners. The vast park is 153 km (95 miles) by road from Darwin and stretches more than 200 km (125 miles) north to south and 100 km (60 miles) east to west. Part of the park is Aboriginal land and there are three contentious uranium mining leases operating in the east.

This image was acquired by Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on August 13, 1999. This is a false-color composite image made using shortwave-infrared, near-infrared, and blue wavelengths (ETM+ bands 7, 4, and 1).

Image provided by the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Landsat team and the Australian ground receiving station teams