View Comments
NASA images show WA fire intensity
NASA images show WA fire intensity

Satellite images from NASA have revealed the intensity and extent of wildfires across WA.

NASA says it was forced to take a closer look at the strange patches of bright light on its 'black marble' photographs, prompting the conclusion that it showed an enormous spread of bushfires across the State's outback.

The images of Earth at night were released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Away from the cities, much of the night light observed by the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite in these images comes from wildfires," NASA says. "In the bright areas of Western Australia, there are no nearby cities or industrial sites but, scientists have confirmed, there were fires in the area when Suomi NPP made passes over the region."

The photographs were assembled from data acquired over nine days in April this year and 13 days in October 2012.

NASA said this meant the fires could have been detected on any one day and integrated into the composite picture, despite being "temporary phenomena".

"Because different areas burned at different times when the satellite passed over, the cumulative result in the composite view gives the appearance of a massive blaze," NASA said.

"Black Marble" was taken from the same angle as the iconic photo of Earth from Apollo 17 in 1972.