The summer heat in Australia brought high temperatures as well as strong winds to an already dry environment and created conditions for big fires. By yesterday almost 200,000 hectares had burned. The massive Snowy River Complex fire alone lights up an area of the size of Melbourne.
This image of intense bushfires in and around Grampians National Park in western Victoria, Australia, was captured from Space on 17 January by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
New South Wales State Emergency Services (NSW SES) launched a new mapping system to help emergency responders coordinate better rescue operations. It allows volunteers on the ground to instantly share real-time information.
Smoke plumes from fires, volcanoes, and pollution are all reaching high into the atmosphere and can therefore very easily be detected from space. Most recently, Astronaut Karen Nyberg shot a photograph of fires around Darwin and Melville Island, Australia, on August 5, 2013, while looking west across the Timor Sea from the International Space Station (ISS). She also took a photo looking straight down on the fires.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terrasatellite captured this image showing large bush fires burning in southwestern Victoria on February 18, 2013. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires. Winds blew a long plume of smoke south toward the Bass Strait.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image showing the large bush fires burning in eastern New South Wales, Australia, on 9 January 2013. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires.
Australia became an international collaborator on the new US-satellite mission Landsat 8, under an agreement signed on 12 July 2012 with the United States Geological Survey. Landsat 8, the latest in the series of Landsat satellites, is expected to launch in January 2013.