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West Bengal, India, from Himalayas to Gangetic Plain

November 18th, 2011 Category: Mountains, Rivers

India - November 9th, 2011

This APM image shows rivers flowing down from the Himalayas in India and Bhutan (upper right), and across the Indian state of West Bengal, into Bangladesh.

As one can see from the contrast in this image, West Bengal encompasses two broad natural regions: the Gangetic Plain in the south and the sub-Himalayan and Himalayan area in the north.

The state has a total area of 88,752 square kilometres (34,267 sq mi). The Darjeeling Himalayan hill region in the northern extreme of the state belongs to the eastern Himalayas.  The narrow Terai region separates this region from the plains, which in turn transitions into the Ganges delta towards the south.

Brahmaputra River Emptying Sediments into Bay of Bengal, by Bangladesh

21.8N 90.1E

January 13th, 2010 Category: Rivers

Bangladesh - January 8th, 2010

Bangladesh - January 8th, 2010

Sediments from several rivers enter the Bay of Bengal and create a thick tan stain in its waters off the coasts of Bangladesh (center) and northeastern India (lower left). The most prominent of these rivers is the Brahmaputra, appearing as a tan ribbon flowing downwards from the upper right quadrant. The Ganges River can also be seen, entering from the center left.

To the north of the snow-capped Himalayas is part of the Tibetan lakes region, in China, on the Tibetan Plateau. South of the mountains the fertile land of India and Bangladesh appears hazy to due smoke from agricultural fires.

Other visible countries include Myanmar (right), Bhutan (in the mountains, just north of Bangladesh) and Nepal (also in the mountains, to the left, between Tibet and India).

Solar Eclipse Over Southeast Asia

15.2N 125.8E

July 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Shadow cast by eclipse over Southeast Asia - July 22nd, 2009

Shadow cast by eclipse over Southeast Asia - July 22nd, 2009

Path of eclipse over Southeast Asia and Oceania (source: NASA)

Path of eclipse over Southeast Asia and Oceania

Total solar eclipse as seen from the district of Kurigram in Bangladesh - July 22nd, 2009 © Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar

Total solar eclipse seen from Bangladesh - July 22nd, 2009

The solar eclipse of July 22, 2009 cast a shadow over Southeast Asia, causing some of the clouds in this image to appear darker. Upon opening the full image, the northern and southern areas, including Russia, Indonesia and Australia, are bright and clear, while the middle part over the ocean above the Philippines is darkened.

This was the longest total solar eclipse so far during the 21st century, and will not be surpassed until June 2132. The maximum eclipse lasted a maximum of 6 minutes and 39 seconds,  ocurring off the coast of Southeast Asia at 02:35:21 UTC about 100 km south of the Bonin Islands, southeast of Japan.

The uninhabited North Iwo Jima island was the landmass with totality time closest to maximum, while the closest inhabited point was Akusekijima, where the eclipse lasted 6 minutes and 26 seconds.

This was the second in the series of three eclipses in a one-month period, being book-ended by two minor penumbral lunar eclipses, on July 7 and on August 6.

The eclipse was visible from a narrow corridor through northern Maldives, northern India, eastern Nepal, northern Bangladesh, Bhutan, northern Philippines, the northern tip of Myanmar, central China and the Pacific Ocean, including the Ryukyu Islands, Marshall Islands and Kiribati.

Totality was visible in many large cities, including Surat, Vadodara, Bhopal, Varanasi, Patna, Gaya, Dinajpur, Siliguri, Guwahati, Tawang in India and Chengdu, Nanchong, Chongqing, Yichang, Jingzhou, Wuhan, Huanggang, Hefei, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Huzhou, Suzhou, Jiaxing, Ningbo, Shanghai, as well as over the Three Gorges Dam in China.

A partial eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon’s penumbra, including most of Southeast Asia (all of India and China) and north-eastern Oceania.

Fires Lead to Thick Smoke over Myanmar

February 25th, 2009 Category: Fires

Fires in southeast Asia - February 25th, 2009

Fires in southeast Asia - February 25th, 2009

Fires burning in Myanmar, Bhutan and India continue to send smoke throughout the Indochina region.

Whereas yesterday much of the smoke  was covering the Bay of Bengal and Bangladesh, in today’s image a dense cloud of smoke can be seen in the valley around Myanmar’s Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River (left).

The area around the Irrawaddy Delta (bottom left), on the other hand, is relatively clear of smoke. The bay to the East is full of sediments washing into the Andaman Sea from the Salween (Thanlwin) River.

Southeast Asia Veiled by Smoke from Fires in India, Bhutan and Myanmar

February 24th, 2009 Category: Fires

Fires in Indochina - February 24th, 2009

Fires in Indochina - February 24th, 2009

Detail of fires

Detail of fires

Southeast Asia is veiled by smoke from hundreds of fires burning in Myanmar (right), Bhutan (center right) and India (left).

Bangladesh (center), is free of actual fires although it there is heavy smoke over the area. The cloud of smoke can also be seen blowing out over the Bay of Bengal.

The burning of fires in order to prepare land for crop planting is a common practice in Myanmar and India (please click here for previous articles on agricultural fires in India). Although the fires do not usually pose a direct threat, they can have a strong negative impact on things such as natural resources and air quality.

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