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Spain, France, and Italy

May 30, 2005

Clear skies over much of Mediterranean Europe on April 30, 2005, let the verdant forests of Spain, France, and Italy shine through. In this true-color Aqua MODIS image, the Pyrenees Mountains along the Spanish-French border, and the Alps along the French-Italian border, remain snow-capped, while a few small fires marked in bright red stand out in various places in the region. One lone fire burns on the French coast west of Marseille, the largest commercial port in the Mediterranean and France. Marseille is well over 2600 years old, having been founded by the ancient Greeks as a trading port.

To the east, the Po River Valley of northern Italy is covered in a grey veil of air pollution. Whether the pollution is from fires or man-made sources isn't clear, but pollution of this nature is not uncommon in this region, as the Alps inhibit air flow at the lower altitudes in the atmosphere.



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