Status Report

NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 4, 2011 – New Zealand

By SpaceRef Editor
April 4, 2011
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NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 4, 2011 – New Zealand
NASA MODIS Image of the Day: April 4, 2011 - New Zealand


On March 30, 2011, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite passed over New Zealand just as the clouds parted, and captured this striking view of the greens of very early fall.

Near the top of the image, snow covers the highest peaks of the North Auckland (Northland) Peninsula.

About half-way down the western shore of the peninsula lies Kaipara Harbor, a large estuary/harbor complex that opens to the Tasman Sea, and offers a diverse array of ecotones and habitats which provide food and housing for many species, especially migratory birds. Of the two main islands of New Zealand, North Island is the most volcanically active, with a large volcanic plateau running roughly southwest to northeast through North Island’s mainland. The large blue ring of Lake Taupo can be seen near the center of this plateau. The lake is actually nestled in the caldera of one of the world’s most active supervolcanoes. North Island is separated from South Island by Cook Strait, which is 14 miles (22 km) wide at the narrowest point. South Island is noted for the Southern Alps, which form a snow-and-glacier-covered spine near the western coast. Bright blue glacial lakes lie on the eastern side of the mountains, holding cold meltwater as it flows from the mountains to the South Pacific Ocean via the many rivers of the region.

SpaceRef staff editor.