Haze off the United States East Coast • Earth.com

Last update: November 12th, 2019 at 11:00 am

Plumes of haze blew off the east coast of the United States and over the Atlantic Ocean in late June 2007. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took these pictures on June 23, 2007 (top), and June 24, 2007 (bottom).

In these images, the haze appears as a blue-gray blur sweeping out over the ocean. While the plume of haze extends well to the south in the June 23 image, it follows a narrower path in the June 24 image. The haze plumes coincided with some air quality advisories for the Carolinas. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNOW Website, both North and South Carolina experienced ozone levels in the moderate range on June 23 and 24. Under that category, “unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.”

Besides plumes of haze, these satellite images show intermittent cloud cover in the region, as well as sunglint. Sunglint results from sunlight bouncing off the water’s surface and into the satellite sensor. In the June 23 image, the sunglint is especially bright near the bottom right corner.

Credit: NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

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