Smog Layer Over Upstate New York
Image provided by the Earth Science and Image Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center
The STS-92 Space Shuttle astronauts photographed upstate New York at sunset on October 21, 2000. Water bodies (Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Finger Lakes, the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers) are highlighted by sunglint (sun reflecting off the water surface), making for a dramatic and unusual regional view.
The photograph was taken looking toward the southwest from southern Canada, and captures a regional smog layer extending across central New York, western Lake Erie and Ohio, and further west. The layer of atmospheric pollution layer is capped by an atmospheric inversion, which is marked by the layer of clouds at the top of the photograph. The astronauts were able to document this smog event from a variety of vantage points as they orbited over the northeastern U.S. and southern Canada.