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

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Canary Islands

The Canary Islands

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The Canary Islands in a dust storm

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A multi-angle view of the Canary Islands in a dust storm, February 29, 2000. At left is a true-color image taken by the Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. This image was captured by the MISR camera looking at a 70.5 degree angle to the surface, ahead of the spacecraft. The middle image was taken by the MISR downward-looking (nadir) camera, and the right image is from the aftward 70.5 degree camera. The images are reproduced using the same radiometric scale, so variations in brightness, color, and contrast represent true variations in surface and atmospheric reflectance with angle. Windblown dust from the Sahara Desert is apparent in all three images, and is much brighter in the oblique views. This illustrates how MISR's oblique imaging capability makes the instrument a sensitive detector of dust and other particles in the atmosphere. Data for all channels are presented in a Space Oblique Mercator map projection to facilitate their co-registration. The images are about 400 km (250 miles) wide, with a spatial resolution of about 1.1 kilometers (1,200 yards). North is toward the top.

MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The MISR data were obtained from the NASA Langley Research Center Atmospheric Science Data Center in Hampton, VA.

Image credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Science Team

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