PIA15150: Wildfires Threatening Ancient Siberian Lake
 Target Name:  Earth
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  Terra
 Spacecraft:  Terra
 Instrument:  ASTER
 Product Size:  4236 x 9873 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA15150.tif (78.82 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA15150.jpg (2.448 MB)

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For weeks, forest fires have been raging in Siberia around Russia's Lake Baikal. The world's oldest and deepest lake could face severe damage from the 36 fires burning out of control in the region. Almost 200,000 hectares (500,000 acres) have been charred, with ash washing up on the shores of the lake. This image of the region north of Lake Baikal was acquired Aug. 22, 2015, by the Advanced Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft, and covers an area of 39 by 92 miles (62 by 148 kilometers), and is located at 53.5 degrees north, 107 degrees east.

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/.

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