Watching wildfires from space

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At a safe distance from the surface, beyond the 100-kilometre-high karman line that marks the border between Earth's atmosphere and space, a NASA satellite snaps this photo of a wildfire blazing over California. These satellites effectively act as extremely tall fire towers that are able to tell firefighters on the ground where new blazes are springing up, and give a broad overview of the extent of the wildfire.

The data provided by fire-watching satellites can also help with wildfire forecasting by showing where the driest patches of unburned ground are, and where tall grasses and scrubland could spread fires to forests.










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