Using a pair of satellites that monitor the Earth, NASA recorded over 10.000.000 fires throughout the planet; they then took the recorded material and created an animation with it, as can be seen below. The animation also includes vegetation, snow cover, cloud cover, surface temperatures, and more.

Africa was by far the ‘hottest’ continent, being responsible for over 70 percent of the world’s fires. Meanwhile, the US was home of less than two percent. A very large cluster of agricultural- and lightning-sparked fires in African savanna lands, for example, can be seen from July through September 2006.

The satellites (Terra satellite, launched in 1999, and Aqua, launched in 2002) carry instrument called a MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, or MODIS, which monitors a rainbow of different wavelengths of light emitted by or bounced off our host planet.

The normalized vegetation index (NVI) is shown in the left, and it shows the intensity of vegetation, growing from left to right. Meanwhile, MODIS fire pixels (right) reveal the temperatures of the burning fire.

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