This is China’s smog as seen by NASA’s Terra satellite and other extraterrestrial beings.
According to NASA’s web site:
When the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image on December 7, 2013, thick haze stretched from Beijing to Shanghai, a distance of about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles)…The brightest areas are clouds or fog. Polluted air appears gray. While northeastern China often faces outbreaks of extreme smog, it is less common for pollution to spread so far south.
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. The World Health Organization considers PM2.5 levels to be safe when they are below 25.
Also in today’s smog roundup: Primary school teachers convince their students that they can punch the haze away, Beijing researchers really want to know what pollution is doing to your precious sperm and China has urged pilots to improve landing skills so that they can touch down in dense smog.
[Image via NASA]