A series of images shows a giant plume of smoke from a burning fuel depot near London, England. The first image, seen when you open this page, is a “true color” composite. If you place your mouse over the image, it will shift to a “false color” composite image; move the mouse to the side of the image and it will revert back to the first image. In this case, the false color composite is comprised of the bands 7 (short wave infrared), 2 (near infrared), and 1 (red), which are assigned to the red, green, and blue colors, respectively. This combination is often used to identify the effects of fire; if vegetation burns, bare soil in the area will become exposed. This will cause reflectance in band 1 to slightly increases (however, that may be offset by the presence of black carbon residue). The near infrared (Band 2) will become darker, and Band 7 becomes more reflective. When assigned to red in the image, Band 7 will show burn scars as deep or bright red, depending on the type of vegetation burned, the amount of residue, or the completeness of the burn.
Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.