NOAA SATELLITES CAPTURE BURNING OIL FIELDS IN IRAQ
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.
Please note that these images were taken well before the U.S. military bombardment in the capital of Iraq.
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