Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 25, 2011 – Central Andes

By SpaceRef Editor
April 25, 2011
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 25, 2011 – Central Andes
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 25, 2011 - Central Andes


The clouds parted over the west coast of southern South American in early April, 2011 allowing an unobstructed view of the Andes Mountains.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image on April 4, 2011.

The Andes Mountain Range is the world’s longest continental mountain range, running approximately 7,000 kilometers (4,300 mi) along the western edge of South America. It is also the highest mountain range outside of Asia, with the highest peak, Mount Aconcagua, rising over 6,900 meters (22,800 feet).. The average height of the Andes range is about 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). The climate of the southern section of the Andes Mountains can be both rainy and cool, which results in rich plant growth. In the image, these regions are marked with green. To the north of the green mountains, the Andes become arid and dry, as can be visualized by the extent of the tan and reddish brown lands. In the far north of the image, the mountains are again tinged with green, indicating plant growth due to rainfall in those areas. The dryness of the region is highlighted by the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia which appears as a large bright white circular area on the high plateau (Altiplano) in the north of the image. It is the world’s largest salt flat, containing 50 – 75% of the world’s lithium reserves. North of the Salar de Uyuni, near the top of the image, the western edge of Lake Titicaca peeks out below the clouds over the interior of Peru and Bolivia. The Andes are shared by seven countries. Those seen in this image include Peru and Bolivia, in the north and sharing a boundary that passes through Lake Titicaca. Peru encompasses the northernmost coastal area, while Bolivia runs from the lake to well south of the Salar de Uyuni. South of Peru, Chile lies along the coast, and Argentina lies inland south of Bolivia. The spine of the Andes forms the border between Chile and Argentina.

SpaceRef staff editor.