Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tracking brushfires from space (MODIS Satellite)

Here is an ultra-high resolution satellite image, courtesy of the MODIS Active Fire Mapping Program. These images are taken from a low-orbiting satellite about 200 miles above the ground, available a couple of hours after passing over Minnesota. The main purpose of these crystal-clear images is to identify and track fires from space. There are different "bands" of satellite imagery which make it easier to find the (hot) thumbprint of a growing fire. Click on the jpegs to see the highest-resolution imagery (you can see individual lakes, even smaller lakes across Minnesota).

This is a "true color" image of Minnesota, which will slowly transform into more of a green hue as leaves begin to bud statewide in the coming weeks. Check out the lingering snow cover across the Minnesota Arrowhead. One more weekend for snowmobiling along the North Shore?

For the main MODIS web page (definitely bookmark-worthy!) click here.

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