The 10-day-old Pole Creek fire southwest of Sisters, Ore., had grown to 24,000 acres as of Thursday, Sept. 20, but was about 40 percent contained. No structures have been destroyed, and the fire is mostly confined to the national forest. Residents in nearby communities have been alerted to possible evacuation orders. Red areas on the image are active fires or hot spots, derived from the thermal infrared channels. The image covers an area of 23 by 31 miles (38 by 52 kilometers), is centered near 44.1 degrees north latitude, 121.7 degrees west longitude, and was acquired Sept. 20, 2012.
With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet. ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched Dec. 18, 1999, on Terra. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and data products.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provides scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C.
More information about ASTER is available at http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/.