above picture? In a word: smog. In 2000 October the orbiting Space Shuttle Discovery photographed update New York just at sunset. Visible is golden sunlight reflecting from two of the Great Lakes (Erie and Ontario), and several of the Finger Lakes. Between the clouds at the top and ground at the bottom, however, is a trapped layer of smog. Smog is mostly ozone but may contain small amounts of volatile organic compounds. As opposed to "good smog" in the upper atmosphere, "bad smog" near the ground is created mostly by humans. In the upper atmosphere, ozone reflects back harmful ultraviolet radiation, but when it occurs near the ground, it can be inhaled. Smog continues to be studied with an eye for how it develops and how it affects human health.
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Earth
Publications with words: Earth