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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT
STS091-725-088
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STS091-725-088

June 8, 2011
In this 70mm picture photographed during one of Discovery's passes over Mexico, waves generated by the volcanic peaks are seen as the wind carrying the smoke moves by the peaks. Along the coast of the Bay of Campeche, the fires burn around the peak of the Cerro San Martin (5,577 feet), which is west and higher than the peak with the waves around it. Lago Catemaco is on the west, center edge of the photo. Fires across Mexico and Central America created heavy smoke plumes for a few weeks in May and June, 1998. The smoke circulated around a high pressure system over the Gulf of Mexico and brought thick smoke and soot to the south central United States. Scientists are looking at burning regions like this around the world to study the smokes affect on the albedo or the reflectance of the suns rays and how it may influence our world's climate.