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. A cyclist rides on the bike lane in the Mid Market neighborhood during Bike to Work Day in San Francisco,
    Perspective

    Why Asking for Bike Lanes Isn't Smart

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  2. Uber Eats worker
    Life

    The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

    As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.

  3. Transportation

    A Horrifying Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Future Transit Commute

    A comic artist’s take on what the future of transportation might really feel like.

  4. a photo of cyclists riding beside a streetcar in the Mid Market neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
    Transportation

    San Francisco’s Busiest Street Is Going Car-Free

    A just-approved plan will redesign Market Street to favor bikes, pedestrians, and public transit vehicles. But the vote to ban private cars didn’t happen overnight.

  5. a photo of a WeWork office building
    Life

    What WeWork’s Demise Could Do to NYC Real Estate

    The troubled coworking company is the largest office tenant in New York City. What happens to the city’s commercial real estate market if it goes under?

×