We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Astronauts Watch The West Coast Burning From Space

By Ernie Mastroianni
Aug 7, 2018 3:00 AMNov 20, 2019 3:12 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

(Credit: NASA) From nearly 300 miles up, you can see California’s massive forest fires blowing smoke and ash east from the US west coast. The area in this image stretches more than 500 miles from southern Oregon (left) to San Francisco and the Sierras (at far right). Astronaut Ricky Arnold captured the scene from the International Space Station and posted the photo on Twitter on Monday, Aug. 6. Among the largest fires are (from left) the Taylor Creek and Klondike fires in Oregon, the Carr at center, the massive Mendocino Complex, and at far right, the Ferguson and other fires just west of Yosemite National Park. Nationwide, more than 28,000 firefighters and support staff are battling over 100 fires that have burned some 1.6 million acres. Just two of those — the Carr fire and Mendocino complex, have charred more than 400,000 acres, or 625 square miles. For context, you can see the scale of the smoke by comparing the top image to this one from Google maps.

(Credit: Google maps)

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.