Aerosols are all around us. From the smoke from a fire, to the dust in the wind to the salt in sea spray — these solid particles and liquid droplets are always swirling in our atmosphere, oftentimes unseen.

The Goddard Earth Observing System Forward Processing (GEOS FP) modeluses mathematical equations to model what is happening in our atmosphere. The inputs for its equations — temperature, moisture, wind, etc. — come from our satellites and ground sensors.

This visualization was compiled on Aug. 24, 2018 — obviously a busy day for aerosols in our atmosphere. Swirls of sea salt (indicated by blue) reveal typhoons Soulik and Cimaron heading straight towards South Korea and Japan. A haze of black carbon (indicated by red) suffuse from agricultural burning in Africa and large wildfires in North America. And clouds of dust (indicated by purple) float off the Sahara desert.