Fires on Sumatra

Scores of fires were smoking across Sumatra (center) on June 8, 2003, trailing smoke across the Strait of Malacca, which separates Sumatra from Malaysia to the north, and also over the the Indian Ocean (bottom left). These images of active fire locations (red dots) were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on the Terra and Aqua satellites. Notice how the afternoon overpass (Aqua) reveals far more fires. This increase in fire activity over the course of the day is referred to as a diurnal fire cycle.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Fires on Sumatra

Scores of fires were smoking across Sumatra (center) on June 8, 2003, trailing smoke across the Strait of Malacca, which separates Sumatra from Malaysia to the north, and also over the the Indian Ocean (bottom left). These images of active fire locations (red dots) were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on the Terra and Aqua satellites. Notice how the afternoon overpass (Aqua) reveals far more fires. This increase in fire activity over the course of the day is referred to as a diurnal fire cycle.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

The Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

Forming the southern arc of central Indonesia, the Lesser Sunda Islands link the island of Java (west) to the island of Timor (east). The islands stretch 1,200 kilometers west to east, and traverse the waters of the Timor, Sawu, Banda, and Flores Seas, as well as the Indian Ocean. Dotted across the islands are a number of fires, which are marked in bright red. Two tiny islands in this chain, Komodo and Rinca, are famous for being the home of dragons —of the non-mythical variety. Komodo Dragons are four-legged monitor lizards that are extremely fierce. They can weigh up to 130 kg (287 lbs) and grow to be over 3 meters (about 10 feet) in length. Komodo Dragons are a protected species, with only about 5700 of them living on these two and other smaller local islands. Komodo, Rinca, and Padar Islands (as well as numerous smaller islands) are part of Komodo National Park, which was established in 1980, and which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1991. Komodo Island is located just to the west of Flores Island, which is the long thin island dotted with numerous fires in the upper center of the image. This true-color Terra MODIS image was acquired on August 30, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Islands in the Flores Sea, Indonesia

Coral reefs form bright blue circles around the tiny islands of Indonesia in the Flores Sea. The white shell that covers the coral reflects light through the water, which results in the turquoise color seen in this image. The larger, vegetation-covered islands are darker green against the black ocean. On the far left is Tanahjampea. Below it and to the right are Boneogeh and Bonerate. The largest island on the right is Kalaotoa. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on June 13, 2004.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone Fiona (14S), south of Sumatra

Tropical Cyclone Fiona is caught whirling in the Indian Ocean south of Sumatra (Indonesia) on Feb. 10, 2003, in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terra satellite. With maximum sustained winds at 90 knots (104 miles per hour) and gusts up to 110 (126 miles per hour), Fiona was located about 350 nautical miles (403 miles) southwest of the Cocos Islands and was predicted to move west to west-southwest over the course of the day.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Tropical Cyclone 21S off Java

This true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aqua satellite shows Tropical Cyclone 21S south of the island of Java in Indonesia on March 2, 2003. Cyclone 21S would become Tropical Cyclone Harriet over subsequent days, moving southeastward and impacting the northwest Australian coast.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Internal waves in the Banda Sea, Indonesia

A shimmering layer of silver sunglint washes across the Banda Sea, highlighting delicately curving internal waves and bringing the central Indonesian islands out in stark contrast. Internal waves are, much like their name implies, a phenomena that occur in the water, rather than at the waters surface. Like all major bodies of water, the Banda Sea is composed of layers of water with differing densities. The topmost layer is the least dense, with each successively deeper layer being denser. Internal waves move along underwater at the boundary between layers of different densities. Internal waves are usually caused by the lower layer being forced against a shallow obstacle, like a ridge, by tidal action. The ridge causes a disturbance, which creates a wave in the water layer, similar to the way that the wind can cause waves on the waters surface. However, unlike normal surface waves, internal waves can stretch tens of kilometers in length and move throughout the ocean for days. Internal waves alter sea surface currents, changing the overall “sea surface roughness.” Where these currents converge, the sea surface is more turbulent, and therefore brighter. Where the currents diverge, the surface is smoother and darker, creating zones called “slicks.” These smooth and rough spots then show up in the sunglint as thin ribbons of gray. Sunglint occurs when sunlight bounces off waters turbulent surfaces and directly back into MODIS “eye,” creating a glare-effect. The more turbulent the water surface is, the more diffuse the sunlight becomes, turning the silver into a deeper pewter color. Likewise, the calmer the water, the less diffuse the sunlight is, and thus shows up as a brighter silver, almost white color. Outside of the path of the sunglint, the water appears in its normal shades of deep blue. These true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images were acquired on February 24, 2004 by the Aqua and Terra satellites.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Internal waves in the Banda Sea, Indonesia

A shimmering layer of silver sunglint washes across the Banda Sea, highlighting delicately curving internal waves and bringing the central Indonesian islands out in stark contrast. Internal waves are, much like their name implies, a phenomena that occur in the water, rather than at the waters surface. Like all major bodies of water, the Banda Sea is composed of layers of water with differing densities. The topmost layer is the least dense, with each successively deeper layer being denser. Internal waves move along underwater at the boundary between layers of different densities. Internal waves are usually caused by the lower layer being forced against a shallow obstacle, like a ridge, by tidal action. The ridge causes a disturbance, which creates a wave in the water layer, similar to the way that the wind can cause waves on the waters surface. However, unlike normal surface waves, internal waves can stretch tens of kilometers in length and move throughout the ocean for days. Internal waves alter sea surface currents, changing the overall “sea surface roughness.” Where these currents converge, the sea surface is more turbulent, and therefore brighter. Where the currents diverge, the surface is smoother and darker, creating zones called “slicks.” These smooth and rough spots then show up in the sunglint as thin ribbons of gray. Sunglint occurs when sunlight bounces off waters turbulent surfaces and directly back into MODIS “eye,” creating a glare-effect. The more turbulent the water surface is, the more diffuse the sunlight becomes, turning the silver into a deeper pewter color. Likewise, the calmer the water, the less diffuse the sunlight is, and thus shows up as a brighter silver, almost white color. Outside of the path of the sunglint, the water appears in its normal shades of deep blue. These true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images were acquired on February 24, 2004 by the Aqua and Terra satellites.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Internal waves in the Celebes and Banda Seas

A silver band of sunglint highlights internal waves in the Celebes, Molucca, and Banda Seas around Indonesia in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image. Sunglint occurs when the sun reflects off the surface of the water directly into MODIS “eye,” creating a glare. If the ocean were perfectly smooth, the sunglint would be a bright circular reflection of the sun. But since the sea is rough, and not a perfect mirror, the circle is distorted into the band visible here. Sunglint is interesting in that it highlights features that would not ordinarily be visible in the images. Here, the sunglint shows both internal waves and the regular scan lines that mark the beginning and end of MODIS double-sided scan mirror. The scan lines, caused by small differences between the two sides of the scan mirror, are evenly spaced diagonal lines. Internal waves tend to occur in more irregular circular packets. As the name implies, internal waves are wave that occur in the ocean. The ocean is made up of different layers of water that have different densities. When the dense lower layer is dragged against a rough surface on the sea floor, it ripples. The resulting wave travels between two layers of the ocean. Unlike surface waves, internal waves can travel for long distances and can stretch up to tens of kilometers in length. The MODIS instrument on the Aqua satellite acquired this image on October 28, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

Days of heavy rain in Indonesia pushed Lake Tempe and the Tondano River, image center, to overflowing. The Lake and the Tondano River, both in Southern Sulawesi, rose to cover hectares of paddies and cacao plantations. The government reports that hundreds of homes and public facilities have been evacuated. The incessant rains have also caused fatal mudslides along the western coast of the island to the north and south of the area shown in these images. These Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) images show Lake Tempe and the Tondano River before and during the flood. In these false color images, water is blue and black, vegetation is bright green, and clouds are light blue. The flood image was taken on January 5, 2004, by the Terra satellite. The pre-flood image, also captured by the Terra satellite, was acquired on December 13, 2003.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC