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NOAA SATELLITES CAPTURE BURNING OIL FIELDS IN IRAQ

NOAA image of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 2:31 a.m. EST.March 21, 2003 — NOAA polar-orbiting satellites continue to detect oil well fires in Iraq. The plumes visible in the NOAA satellite imagery are consistent with NOAA's experience in detecting oil fires in the past from satellites in space. In addition, these plumes are in areas where oil wells are known to exist. (Click NOAA image for larger view of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 2:31 a.m. EST. Click here for image without annotations. Please credit “NOAA.)

Two of these images were produced from data taken by the NOAA-17 satellite on March 21 at 2:31 a.m. EST (10:31 a.m. Iraq local time). The images measure 1280 x 1024 pixels with NOAA annotations. The other image was taken by the NOAA-17 satellite on the same day but at 4:53 a.m. EST (12:53 p.m. Iraq local time). NOAA-16 and NOAA-17 are polar-orbiting NOAA satellites, which fly at about 520 miles above the Earth in an almost north-south orbit.

NOAA image of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 2:31 a.m. EST.
Click NOAA image for larger view of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 2:31 a.m. EST. Click here for image without annotations. Please credit “NOAA.
NOAA image of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 4:53 a.m.
Click NOAA image for larger view of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 21, 2003, at 4:53 a.m. EST. Click here for image without annotations. Please credit “NOAA)
NOAA image of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 20, 2003, at 5:05 a.m.
(Click NOAA image for larger view of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 20, 2003, at 5:05 a.m. EST. Click here for image without annotations. Please credit “NOAA.)
NOAA image of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 20, 2003, at 5:05 a.m.
(Click NOAA image for larger view of smoke plume from Iraqi oil wells taken March 20, 2003, at 5:05 a.m. EST. Click here for image without annotations. Please credit “NOAA.)

These images were processed by the NOAA Operational Significant Event Imagery, part of NOAA Satellites and Information.

Please note that these images were taken well before the U.S. military bombardment in the capital of Iraq.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA Operational Significant Event Imagery

NOAA Polar-Orbiting Satellites

All About NOAA Satellites

Media Contact:
Greg Hernandez, NOAA, (202) 482-3091