Last update: September 15th, 2019 at 2:00 pm
In southern Western Australia’s Fitzgerald River National Park, lightning triggered half a dozen fires on January 9, 2008. The fires grew rapidly over the span of a few hours, and when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the area and captured this picture, the sensor detected several actively burning areas (marked in red) that were not detectable in an image captured just a few hours before by the Terra satellite. Although the image is somewhat blurry because the park was just at the edge of the sensor’s field of view, it is still easy to see the thick smoke plume and the sharp difference in the land surface between the vegetation of the park (dark green) and the surrounding agricultural areas (lighter green and tan).
Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey.