NASA’s Terra Satellite Sees Arizona’s Massive Bighorn Fire Burn Scar From Space

Arizona Bighorn Fire Burn Scar

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(Click image for complete view.) NASA’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument imaged locations burned by the Bighorn Fire north of Tucson, Arizona, on June 29. Vegetation is displayed in red and burnt locations are displayed in dark gray. It covers a location of 20 by 30 miles (33 by 48 kilometers). Credit: NASA

From the perspective of the Terra satellite, the instrument can discover the scarred land that the wildfire, burning north of Tucson, is leaving in its wake.

On the night of June 5, a lightning strike began the Bighorn Fire in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona. Extremely dry plants and windy conditions triggered the fire to spread out rapidly. By June 30, the multi-agency event info system, InciWeb, reported that it had actually swollen to more than 114,000 acres which it had to do with 45% included.

NASA’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument aboard the Terra satellite imaged a few of the burnt location on June 29. In this image, plants is displayed in red and burnt locations appear dark gray. It covers a location 20 by 30 miles (33 by 48 kilometers).

Efforts to include the fire continue with 21 hand teams, 10 helicopters and lots of fire truck released to the location. Smoke effects to surrounding neighborhoods are being thoroughly kept an eye on.

With its 14 spectral bands from the noticeable to the thermal infrared wavelength area and its high spatial resolution of about 50 to 300 feet (15 to 91 meters), ASTER images Earth to map and keep track of the altering surface area of our world. It is among 5 Earth-observing instruments released Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was constructed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science group is accountable for recognition and calibration of the instrument and information items.

The broad spectral protection and high spectral resolution of ASTER offers researchers in various disciplines with crucial info for surface area mapping and tracking of vibrant conditions and temporal modification. Example applications are keeping an eye on glacial advances and retreats; keeping an eye on possibly active volcanoes; recognizing crop tension; figuring out cloud morphology and physical homes; wetlands assessment; thermal contamination tracking; reef deterioration; surface area temperature level mapping of soils and geology; and determining surface area heat balance.

The U.S. science group lies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. The Terra objective becomes part of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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