Fires in Nortthern India
The Aqua satellite captured this image of Northern India. What is striking about this image is the large number of fires. The fires could very well be agricultural fires being burned. Smoke from hundreds of fires (the red dots seen in the image) obscure most of the Punjab region of India. This area is a major source of agriculture for India, producing approximately two-thirds of the country´s food. Wheat and rice are the dominant crops, producing 40% and 60%, respectively, of the country´s total production; Punjab also produces corn, fruit, cotton, sugarcane, and other cereals. Farmers use fire to clear the fields of weeds and residue from previous years crops and to add nutrients to the soil.
This natural-color satellite image was collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite on October 31, 2012. Actively burning areas, detected by MODIS’s thermal bands, are outlined in red.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC. Caption by Lynn Jenner.