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There is a notable shape southeast of Homestead on the coast of the Bay of Biscayne. The top right corner of this shape is the location of the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant. In operation since 1972, the plant generates enough power for 900,000 homes annually.

The rest of the large area is the plant’s system of cooling canals. Water in this closed loop of canals is used to keep equipment in the plant cool. The water passes through the plant to remove excess heat then goes back into the canal system. The water cools as it travels through the canals.

Landsat’s thermal infrared imaging capability reveals the temperature of the water in this system. The brighter red in that image indicates warmer water. The water becomes cooler away from the plant and coolest on the right side nearest the plant where the water reenters the plant.

Other warmer surfaces appear in a red hue as well, such as highways, airport runways, and other less vegetated surfaces of Homestead.


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Oct. 22, 2016, Landsat 8 (path/row 15/42) —Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Florida, USA
Oct. 22, 2016, Landsat 8 (path/row 15/42) —Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, using Landsat 8’s thermal infrared imaging, Florida, USA


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