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Where on Earth: Smoky Andes

What are the light gray, branching shapes in this photo from space?
Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory (https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/).
 
Story adapted from Image of the Day post by Justin Wilkinson, Texas State University, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/91750/smoky-andean-valleys

  • Altiplano and Yungas from Expedition 48 Crew, International Space Station
  • Written by Katherine Porter
  • Designed by Dani Player
  • Music from Yesh Music (ASCAP)
Transcript

(SPEECH)
[GENTLE MUSIC]
 
(DESCRIPTION)
Various landscapes. Text, Where On Earth?
 
What are the light grey, branching shapes in this photo from space?
 
A. Lightning strikes in Mexico, B. Smoke-filled valleys in Bolivia, C. Deforested land in South Africa, D. Polluted rivers in the United States
 
Highlight on B, Smoke-filled valleys in Bolivia,
 
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of smoke-filled canyons in the Andes Mountains of western Bolivia.
 
The smoke comes from fires in the moist, densely forested region known as the Yungas.
 
Smoke spreads into the valleys that connect the Yungas to the high desert plain known as the Altiplano.
 
Between the Yungas and Altiplano regions lies a narrow mountain range, the Cordillera Oriental.
 
The high peaks of the Cordillera Oriental, a sub range of the Andes, are capped with bright white snow and ice.
 
From the Andes Mountains to the Earth as a whole. Text, Music courtesy of Yesh Music (ASCAP)
 
Various landscapes. Where On Earth?