NASA

NASA captures a 750-mile trail of haze on camera.

Just in case you'd gotten used to those now-ubiquitous photos of smog-choked Chinese cities, NASA has managed to up the ante with the image up above: yes, that's China's air pollution, as seen from orbit. 

The image was snapped by the space agency's Terra satellite on January 7th during the country's most recent spate of severe pollution. The bright white spots are clouds and fog. The whispy gray haze reaching from Beijing to Shanghai is polluted air. That's about 750 miles of smog which, as NASA notes, is about the distance from Boston to Raleigh, North Carolina. 

"On the day this natural-color image was acquired by Terra, ground-based sensors at U.S. embassies in Beijing and Shanghai reported PM2.5 measurements as high as 480 and 355 micrograms per cubic meter of air respectively," NASA writes. "The World Health Organization considers PM2.5 levels to be safe when they are below 25."

(h/t BloombergBusinessweek)

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    When a Hospital Plays Housing Developer

    A children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is trying to treat a difficult patient: Its own struggling neighborhood.

  2. Passengers wait in a German subway station
    Transportation

    The Global Mass Transit Revolution

    A new report confirms that the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in mass transit.

  3. A row of homes under the Montreal sun.
    Perspective

    Why Is the Homebuilding Industry Stuck in the 1940s?

    Embrace pre-fabricated, adaptable homes! Growing inequity, out-of-reach housing prices, and the speed of innovation in energy efficiency and technology demand it.

  4. Transportation

    Like Uber, but for Cartographers

    Streetcred, a blockchain-powered open-source mapping startup, will pay you to map. (And then give the data away for free.)

  5. Life

    The Curse of America’s Illogical School-Day Schedule

    It starts too early for teens’ sleep patterns, and ends too early for working parents. Does the country have to be stuck with it?