Double-Satellite view of Whitewater-Baldy complex fire

Jun 06, 2012
Credit: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team. Text: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Rob Gutro

(Phys.org) -- NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites circle the globe in formation and capture images of the Earth from their orbit in space. In the “A-train of satellites,” Terra comes before Aqua, and both of them recently captured visible images of the large Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire burning in western New Mexico.

Both satellites have the same instrument onboard: the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS instrument and it can capture visible or infrared imagery. On June 4, 2012, Terra captured a visible image of the fire at 1750 UTC (1:50 p.m. EDT) and Aqua followed at 2150 UTC (5:05 p.m. EDT). The winds appeared to be lighter when Terra flew overhead because of a temperature inversion. The winds picked up in a north-northeasterly direction as smoke increased in that direction on Aqua imagery. In addition, the morning image from Terra did not contain any clouds, whereas the later image revealed white puffy pyrocumulus clouds – a type of cumulonimbus cloud that forms as a result of the heat generated from the fires.

The fire has now consumed 250,524 acres and is now 20 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service from Gila National Forest. The wildfire is located in rugged terrain and is burning timber, mixed conifer, ponderosa pine, pinon/juniper and grasses, as well as dead vegetation. For updated information on the , visit Inciweb at: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2870/ .

Explore further: Suomi NPP satellite spots birth of Tropical Cyclone Kate

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Whitewater-Baldy complex fire

May 31, 2012

This image of the Whitewater-Baldy fire, in western New Mexico, was taken on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 2000 UTC (4:00 p.m. EDT) from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that ...

Colorado's 'Reservoir Road Fire' can be seen from space

Sep 14, 2010

NASA's Aqua satellite flies around the Earth twice a day and captures visible and infrared imagery. On Sept. 12 at 19:20 UTC (3:20 p.m. EDT), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument ...

Recommended for you

Suomi NPP satellite spots birth of Tropical Cyclone Kate

16 hours ago

The tropical low pressure area previously known as System 95S organized and strengthened into Tropical Cyclone Kate on Dec. 24 and the Cocos Keeling Islands are expected to feel its effects on Dec. 25 and ...

NASA looks at some severe holiday weather from space

16 hours ago

Severe weather in the form of tornadoes is not something people expect on Christmas week but a storm system on Dec. 23 brought tornadoes to Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana. As the storm moved, NASA's RapidScat ...

NASA satellite spots Christmas

21 hours ago

If you're looking for Christmas NASA's Aqua satellite spotted it in the Southern Indian Ocean. It's a coral atoll (a ring-shaped reef, island, or chain of islands made up of coral) in the northern Line Islands ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.