All rights reserved. White smoke emerging from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican on March 13 signals the selection of the new pope. White smoke has emerged from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, signaling that the cardinals have elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio—a year-old Argentine and archbishop of Buenos Aires—as the new pope. Bergoglio will now be known as Pope Francis. We talked to Chris Mocella, coauthor of Chemistry of Pyrotechnics , to see if he could shed light on what is done to create that heavenly hue. Take a look inside the Vatican. How do you control the color of smoke when burning something? Isn't all smoke just sort of gray? There are two ways to create smoke, Mocella explains: combustion, which produces smoke when materials are partially burned, and vaporization, which occurs when solid materials are heated to turn them first into a liquid and then into gas.
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The large wildfires continued to burn across parts of southern California on 23 October Since H2O is a byproduct of combustion, the water vapor content of the aged smoke pall is somewhat elevated compared to the rather dry ambient atmosphere over the eastern Pacific Ocean; this allows a subtle signature of the smoke feature to appear on the GOES imager water vapor channel. There is no signal on either of the IR channel images bottom 2 panels since smoke is transparent to thermal radiation at those wavelengths. The IDEA MODIS aerosol optical depth AOD trajectory forecast above suggested that some of the thick smoke could get recirculated back over portions of northern California within the hour forecast period; however, the trajectory trend indicated that these aerosols might remain just above the boundary layer, which would limit their impact on surface air quality in the San Francisco region.
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