2012 was an extraordinary year for wildfires in the United States. According to records maintained by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) and NASA, show that more than 9.1 million acres had burned as of November 30, 2012—the third highest total in a record that dates back to 1960. NASA images by the Science Visualization Studio. Caption by Adam Voiland.
A layer of stratocumulus clouds over the Pacific Ocean, in this image from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired on June 20, 2012, served as the backdrop for this rainbow-like optical phenomenon known as a glory. Glories generally appear as concentric rings of color in front of mist or fog.