Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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On Aug. 16, 2012, the “Smog Blog” at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County reported that, based on satellite data, dense smoke stretched from the West Coast to the Great Lakes and northward into Canada. Thinner smoke persisted across most of the United States.

Smoke from western wildfires affected air quality as far away as the Great Lakes, and some of the thickest smoke stretched from the Dakotas to Texas.

Wildfire smoke is a combination of gases and aerosols—tiny solid and liquid particles suspended in air—so remote sensing instruments that detect aerosols can find smoke. Maps made from data collected by the Ozone Mapper Profiler Suite (OMPS) on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi-NPP) satellite show relative aerosol concentrations over the continental United States.

Lower concentrations appear in yellow and higher concentrations appear in dark orange-brown. Areas in gray represent data screened out due to sunglint (reflection of sunlight) or other factors.

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