Yesterday, I was riding the Amtrak train past Lawrence Point in Queens, NY, and saw twin smokestacks emitting clouds. But one of them had a distinctly yellow color. What's up with that? I wonder if we could measure an absorption line with our spectrometers in the sunlight going through that plume.
Anyone know more about this site and what that might be? The site is here:
Here's a Google Maps 3d view of the smokestacks:
Also, http://alerts.skytruth.org doesn't show anything for that site:
Thats probably the 20th Avenue Astoria Generating Station, a complex of power plants owned owned by US Power Gen , Con ED, NRG Energy, and GDF Suez.
I think the stacks you are looking at are the Coned Station smoke stacks (south of the blue tanks. May still be running on No 6 Fuel oil that the City is trying to phase out in favor of natural gas. In terms of the color, some Fuel Oils still have 0.2% sulfur content, so what you may be seeing with the yellow smoke are concentrated SO2 emissions or some other sulfide additive. However some of the Astoria plant may already be gas turbines. DEP Air Pollution Permits list one of the nearby smokestacks (for their emergency generators) as using Diesel Oil so that's another variable.
To play match the smoke color, there is some data here on what fuel types are being used for the different Queens smokestacks here: