NASA Satellite Has A Bird’s-Eye View Of Western Wildfires

By David Wharton | Published

Dangerous, tragic things can also have a strange sort of beauty to them. The tumbling bloom of metal and plastic as a car turns end over end can be hypnotic…but you sure as hell wouldn’t want to be inside. An explosion can rival the most skillful paintings…but only from a safe distance. Hopefully the authorities trying to extinguish or contain the wildfires plaguing several western states will find nothing but success, but in the meantime this shot taken from NASA’s GOES-15 satellite presents a breathtaking look at the massive smoke clouds rising from the fires.

GOES-15 is a weather satellite that is part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system. The satellite is operated by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here’s the official description of the image from NASA’s webpage:

The GOES-15 satellite keeps a stationary eye over the western U.S. and the smoke from the fires raging in many of the states have created a brownish-colored blanket over the region. The dawn’s early light revealed smoke and haze throughout the Midwest, arising from forest fires throughout the Rockies. While the most publicized fires occur along the populous eastern range in Colorado, the great smoke plumes in this image came from Wyoming. NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-15, captured this visible image on June 28 at 1245 UTC (8:45 a.m. EDT). This image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.