Red River: Hungary Toxic Spill, Visible from Space

Oct 12, 2010 11:08am

From the ground, sections of Hungary looked all red.  The toxic sludge from an aluminum plant killed at least eight people, at last report, and as Jane Allen of our staff reported, it was found to be "1,000 times more caustic than the dust at ground zero on 9/11."

From above, it is a fearsome sight as well.  NASA has now offered up this image of the spill as seen from its EO-1 Earth-observing satellite on Saturday.  In this picture, the red sludge flows for miles. Click on it to enlarge.

There's more information, and a wider view, HERE. The aluminum plant is on the right.  The bright blue is a second reservoir for waste from the plant, though there are glaciers and lakes in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, where minerals collect from rock faces upstream, that can naturally look as bright.

NASA does enhance the color in many of its images (It assigns colors to different chemical elements, for instance, in Hubble telescope pictures), but this one, it says, was in natural light.


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