I’m not sure what it is about images from the Space Station, but somehow the combination of photography and the angle makes them seem incredibly real and vibrant. Here therefore is another look at the wildfires burning in Colorado taken from the International Space Station on June 19.
You can clearly see the enormous pyroclumulus cloud formed from the West Fork Complex fire spreading out over the southern part of this image. A smaller cloud from a fire burning to the north is also visible.
A pyrocumulus cloud is a type of cloud associated with events like fires and volcanic eruptions. The cloud itself is formed when the heat given off by the fire forces the air above the hotspot to rise up into the atmosphere, carrying particulate matter such as ash with it. The clouds from this fire have been large and continuous enough to negatively impact air quality across the Eastern U.S. for the last several weeks.
Image credit: NASA/EO:
Recent TES coverage of pyrocumulus clouds: