Haze Along the Himalaya
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Haze Along the Himalaya

December 14, 2008
Thick haze collected south of the tall, snow-capped Himalayan Mountains in early December 2008, spreading toward the south and east, over the Bay of Bengal (bottom right). The MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image on December 11, 2008. This dingy cloud of gray continued a weeks-long pattern.

Heavy haze frequently collects in this region due to a few factors. Agricultural fires and increased fuel burning for warmth during the colder weather increase the amount of pollutants. There are several fires visible in this region, marked by red dots. In addition, cool air from the Himalaya sinks over the south side of the mountain range, trapping aerosols—tiny liquid or solid particles suspended in air. During times when there are few monsoon wind, the haze can sit instead of being pushed out of the area.

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