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10 wildfires as seen from space

By: Katherine Butler on June 3, 2012, 3:23 p.m.
Smoke and fires in Eastern Russia

Photo: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC, NASA

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Smoke and fire in Eastern Russia

Here we can see smoke billowing from wildfires in Siberia on May 26, 2011. This deadly fire was brought on by a record heat wave, and experts believe that as many as 100,000 hectares (about 247,000 acres) were burned. The fires, shown as red dots, were imaged by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on board the Terra satellite. The instruments — which provide remarkable in-depth observations on land cover change, ecosystem processes and the global carbon cycle — were first launched in 1999 and a second in 2002.