Astronaut captures incredible images of Australian bush fires

Jan 09, 2013 by Nancy Atkinson, Universe Today
Lines of scorched earth and huge smoke plumes from wild fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station on January 8, 2013. Credit: NASA/Chris Hadfield

Intense wild fires, or bush fires as they are called in Australia, are burning out of control across southeast Australia with authorities describing the condition as "catastrophic." The huge fires were easily visible from the International Space Station on Tuesday and onboard, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has been watching from above.

See more of his images below:

Officials say more than 130 fires, many uncontained, are burning in the heavily populated New South Wales state, where dry conditions are fueling the fires as temperatures reached 45 degrees and wind gusts reached more than 100 kilometers per hour.

Huge plumes of smoke from bush fires in Australia were visible from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Chris Hadfield.

In Tasmania, an island south of Australia, rescue officials are still trying to locate around 100 residents who have been missing after a fire tore through a village, destroying dozens of homes. You can see images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's that were taken on January 7, 2013 at the Earth Observatory website.

Follow Chris Hadfield on Twitter to see more images.

Additional information on the bush fires from Voice of America.

Explore further: Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

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JustChris
not rated yet Jan 09, 2013
For those who may be interested, Chris Hadfield's son, Evan, is maintaining his father's Google Plus page and interacting with followers.