Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

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at the NASA Langley Research Center

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Arizona Wildfire

Wildfire in Arizona

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Wallow Fire smoke plume 3 miles high.

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A CALIPSO vertical profile from space shows the smoke plume on June 3, 2011 from the wildfires currently raging in Arizona. It is overlaid on an image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on the Terra satellite nine hours later. The data shows that the Wallow Fire smoke plume reached heights of 5 kilometers (3 miles) high. CALIPSO and Terra are part of the "A-Train" constellation of five Earth-observing satellites.

Credit: NASA /Kurt Severance, Jason Tackett and CALIPSO Team

CALIPSO is joint mission between NASA and CNES, the French space agency.