These images from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) illustrate the abundance of smoke over the northeastern United States from fires burning in Qu‚bec on July 6, 2002. The images at left and center are natural color views acquired by MISR's vertical-viewing (nadir), and 70-degree forward-viewing cameras, respectively. Although smoke is visible in the nadir image, the oblique view angle greatly enhances the appearance of smoke.
The abundance of atmospheric particulates (aerosols) can be derived from the variation of scene brightness and contrast as a function of observation angle, and is displayed by the map of aerosol optical depth on the right. Using the current automated algorithms, reliable retrievals are not feasible for land areas covered by aerosols which totally obscure the underlying surface. In these areas, no retrievals were obtained (shown in dark gray) or a sporadic false result was returned (shown in red). Areas where clouds were successfully screened are also shown in dark gray. Elevated aerosol amounts (shown in blue-green and green) are visible over New York City and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer views almost the entire Earth every 9 days. These images were acquired during Terra orbit 13562 and cover an area of about 380 kilometers x 916 kilometers.
Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team